Wednesday, October 24, 2007

i've come to understand...

why many mamas get so into crafts, especially scrapbooking and/or card-making. So much of what we mothers do every day does not have quantifiable results. Or, even if it does, such as doing 8 loads of laundry, at the end of the day (provided you got the laundry folded and put away rather than stacked up on the furniture in the family room), you don't have anything to show for it. But if you are a scrapbooker, you can feel a sense of productivity at the end of a day in which you completed 8 pages. Those pages are a tangible, permanent reminder of the fact that YOU GET STUFF DONE, by golly, and aren't just sitting around eating bonbons. So, while I don't have any plans to take up scrapping or stamping, I think I have a teensy bit more understanding of the appeal. I do get similar validation from homeschooling Zion, though. I keep a diary of what we do each day, and it's nice to be able to add things to it and feel productive in this very important area!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

a rough patch...

Things were going smoothly in motherland until just the past few days -- Spud has been a SERIOUS menace! To the point where you wish you could send a two year old out to do some manual labor for 8 hours a day. I'm certain it is from his rather erratic sleeping lately, so hopefully by the end of the week we can have him back on track in that area. Now if only we make it that long.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Last night we hosted our annual Ichthoberfest party (pronounced "ick tho ber fest"). It was, by all accounts, a roaring success. We had some new folks who didn't attend last year, as well as most of those who DID attend last year. We had much food, of course, as well as fish-shaped sugar cookies to decorate, foam fish cut-outs to decorate, a fishy pinata, a fish "pond," and karaoke. David prepared his super delicious grilled salmon, which there is never enough of (it's SOOO good!) and we've been craving ever since the party ended. Since the weather was cold and windy, we opted to set up in the garage instead. We actually made it look quite festive, and it was a good forced reason to vacuum and sweep down the garage, so now you don't stab yourself in the feet with corn cob litter from the rabbit's cage should you happen to venture out there barefoot. (Which I frequently do.) It was a whirlwind three hours, as most everyone was gone by 8:00 and we started at 5. And that was okay, because we packed a LOT of fun into those three hours, and since most of the attendees were parents of children, people wanted to get home for bedtimes and other important things. And David and I were pooped after a day of cleaning, decorating, and other preparations. Our smaller parties with significantly fewer people (held monthly) usually last until 11 or so.

On Friday I was grateful for the shop vacuum, which allowed me to suck up dirt, pebbles, and even a couple of plastic bags accidentally while I was cleaning the garage.

Saturday I was grateful for good friends and good food. Oh, and for the invention of karaoke. You should have seen & heard me belt out "I will survive." Bet you didn't know I had an inner diva!

Today I am grateful for relevant lessons at church. In Relief Society we talked about "The Women of the Church," and the excerpts from President Kimball's talks were fabulous. He really mastered the whole "we appreciate & value women's contributions" without putting women up on some silly pedestal or going into the fluffy crap about how women are naturally so much more spiritual & better than men.

'puter on the fritz

So some sort of weird power surge or something else killed my computer on Friday. Waaah! David has valiantly been trying to resuscitate it, but to no avail. He is getting it going with a spare hard drive, and we're going to see if the original hard drive is recoverable. Fortunately, my photos & music and such are on external hard drives, but I have my homeschool stuff, household stuff & old graduate school stuff on the main one. So, hopefully it's retrievable at some point!

Thursday, October 18, 2007


So I was just putting the kids' pants away in their dresser. I put Noodle's in her drawer, and then put Spud's in his drawer, which is the bottom one on the dresser. The drawer wouldn't close, and I tried a few times. Finally I figure some clothes must have fallen behind the drawer, so I pull it all the way out. I look down there, and see a black sweatshirt. I reach in to pull it out, and two eyes turn to look at me. It was Minnie! She calmly walked out and went on her merry way.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

gratitude attitude

Today I am grateful for our cat, Minnie, who although she does NOT like being picked up and held, frequently seeks David or I out for some lovin'. Today I was upstairs reading the 7 Habits and she hopped up on the bed beside me and snuggled with me for a while and demanded affection. I think I'm genetically wired to like furry things, as I've loved both toy and real animals my entire life. But there is something extra fabulous about a living creature of another species seeking out your company. I feel it is such a privilege to have the trust of these small creatures.

I'm also grateful for David and his pragmatic approach to life. Even when I get bothered because he doesn't get emotional like I do about certain things, I think deep down I'm still grateful that he can hopefully balance me out. We're a pretty good team, I think. I'm grateful for that.

And I'm also grateful that the same week my monitor decides to give up the ghost, my neighbor sent out an email about some old monitors they were getting rid of at work for only $15. And while it's not nearly as beautiful as my "lampshade" iMac, at least it works.

But I'm NOT grateful that the lifespan of an LCD screen is about 5 years. Which is how old my iMac is. I'm also not grateful that they don't repair them for less than a zillion dollars. Because I don't really like the new iMacs nearly as well.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I remember as a kid this was the longest word in the English language, but I don't think it is anymore. The kids are watching the cartoon A Pup Named Scooby Doo and it was the featured word on a game show. I wonder what the longest word is now. Whatever it is, English words can't hold a candle to German words when it comes to general length. Germans just stick several words together. I can't find my German-English dictionary, but here are a few words quickly chose out of a German textbook Vocabulary list:

die Gewerkschaftssekretaerin - union secretary
die Riesenschlange - python
die Nierenentzuendung - kidney infection
der Jugendherbergsausweis - owner/manager of a youth hostel
das Lebensmittelgeschaeft - grocery store
die Kopfschmnerztablette - headache pill
die Unterrichtsveranstaltung - organizing of a class
die Stirnhehlenentzuendung - frontal sinus infection
die Muskelschmerzen - muscle pain
das Meinungsforschungsinstitut - opinion research institute

I guess that's enough. So rather than have word phrases, Germans just make looong words. Which is pretty cool, considering when saying the words you also have to have a plenteous supply of phlegm.

But in all honesty, I love the German language. In high school I purposefully chose it rather than French or Spanish because French was too romantic and Spanish was too common. It served me well, as I got a two week, all expenses paid trip around Germany when I was 16, and then did a semester abroad in Austria when I was 20. I also got to be a student secretary in the Department of Germanic & Slavic Languages for nearly 3 years. Though now I'd like to learn Spanish because it is so useful, and French because it's fun to say only half the letters when you pronounce words.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

from the mind of Spud

Today he & I were eating lunch together at the table:

Spud: "Say 'Why are there faiwies [fairies] fwapping awound?'" (Referring to Noodle & their cousins upstairs.)

Me: "Why are there fairies flapping around?"

Spud: "The faiwies are fwapping awound because they WANT to!"

Then, he stabs a piece of his veggie sausage and points to it and asks, "What is in here, in the sausage?"

Me, not sure what to say: "Um, yummyness?"

Spud, apparently satisfied: "Oh."

highly effective me

For our homeschoolling parents study group we are reading Stephen R. Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. This book is a classic example of my tendency to dismiss and/or ridicule things that are embraced by the masses, because, as we all know, "The masses are asses." And I think I've always been put off by the term "effective." What does it mean to be an effective person? And why would I want to be one? I can say that now that I'm about 1/3 through the book, being an effective person sounds pretty good. I know that I would really like to be an effective mother, with all that being such entails. The book focuses on what is necessary to develop true character in order to have success and happiness in life, and contrasts this character to just having a "winning personality." So, while a lot of the book has been excerpted over the years into soundbites and inspirational quotations, I'm finding much of merit in the text. So, I guess I'll have to eat my words. But hopefully I can do so in a highly effective manner.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Weekend Update

We spent the weekend in SLC with David's family. Joe (my FIL) rented a couple of suites downtown for Saturday night, so we spent the afternoon Saturday there, the boys all attended Priesthood meeting together, and we watched the other sessions from the room. Overall it was fun & relaxing, though I must admit I was disappointed that everyone spent the evening watching various TVs (there were 3 in each suite). I guess we should have brought some games or something, but I don't know t hat it would have done any good. I like TV well enough, but it seemed silly to arrange for us all to be together, then to divide up and watch various shows that you can watch any time. So I took the dog on a walk, went to the store and then went for a drive, then went to sleep. I did have some nice chats with my MIL, though, and it was good to see Tina for a bit. She seems to be enjoying college and keeping her grades up, so good for her.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

hooray for hand-me-downs!

So all week I've been thinking, "I need to get Spud some more long pants & winter clothes." Today I was thinking it again, then remembered that I should still have a box of 4/5 clothes somewhere. I pulled it out and was delighted to see loads of cute shirts (mostly long-sleeved) and several pairs of pants. Most were given to me during Spud's first year, so they've been stored for a while, but since he's such a big guy who grows like a weed, we didn't have to wait too long to use them. So I sent the friends who gave us their little boys' hand-me-downs a thank you again. Especially as I'm really trying to be wise with our money now, and sometimes it's easier if you don't have to go shopping to look for things. If I don't go in the stores (or shop online), it's that much less likely that I'll spend money!

Now if I could just get some girls' hand-me-downs, size 6x/7.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Today for our homeschool field trip we went to a metal recycling facility. They recycle copper, steel & aluminum. We got to observe big machines doing cool stuff. By far the coolest was the giant pincher that could lift cars up, carry them over to a "poker" to puncture the gas tanks, then set them down and proceed to SMASH them flat using the "head" that weighs 14,000 lbs! The giant claw was also very cool, and according to the claw operator, much easier to use than the claws in those toy machines. His claw actually holds onto things. Sidenote: My father-in-law has pretty amazing toy claw machine skills, though. He frequently wins miscellaneous junk for the kids, some of which we've actually kept around. By far the worst, though, was a Gene Simmons doll. We kept it aroun d for a little while because David got a kick out of it, but finally I said no more, and banished the plush demon.

Monday, October 01, 2007

i'm not even a gamer,

but I love this t-shirt logo:

off to a good start

Hello October!! Well, since I'm FINALLY over my various illnesses, I decided that the first day of October seemed like a good day to get back on track. Already this morning I've exercised & read my scriptures. Yippee! And my goal for the week is to get my office and my bedroom closet in order, as well as to plan out how much food storage we need. And to get my weekly schedule revised. Hmmm... I'd better get busy!