Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Photo Tag

This tag has been floating around the blogs I read for some time, but I've finally been tagged. I really should be writing my weekly report for last week on this blog, but I just don't feel like it, so here I am. Thanks, Molly!

Here are the rules. Post the fourth picture in the fourth folder of you picture files. Tell us about the picture. Tag a friend or two.

This picture was taken almost exactly two years ago, by our friend Maggie Rassmussen. She came up with my brother, Evan, and shot hundreds of pictures of our family. We went to Apple Hill, a Halloween party, the temple grounds, and just spent time at home, all the while she was snapping pictures. She did excellent work and I love every one of them. This one caught Kimball in a familiar pose. It was after breakfast on a Saturday or Sunday morning and he was stretched out in the sunshine near the sliding door, reading a book. He was six and a half at the time. You can still find him in his spare moments (and in moments when he is supposed to be getting dressed, cleaning his room, or some other productive thing) reading a book, lost to the world around him.

Thanks, Maggie, for taking these pictures that my family will always treasure.

I tag Sonja, Mandy, and Morgan.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I am Ian

Since today is Ian's birthday, I thought I'd do an I Am meme on him. I interviewed him for most of these answers, but at one point he got so silly that he kept answering "the trees" for everything so I had to answer a few for him.

Ian's answers first:

I am: a child of God.

I want: another birthday party.

I miss: the circus Grammy and Papa took me to.

I'm afraid of: bears.

I cry: when somebody hurts me.

I search for: my gardening shoes (his crocs, which he wears almost everywhere.)

I love: Mommy.

I am not: a husband.

I remember: Jesus.

I don't always: make bad choices.

I sing: Primary songs.

I like: to go on dates with Daddy. Bike riding to the park dates.

I don't like: when people eat everything. (Not sure if he means the eat all the food or if they just will eat anything you serve them???)

Now a few that I answered for him:

I always: try to make people laugh.

I dance: silly, because it makes people laugh.

I write: with either hand.

I lose: the itty bitty toys that I take to bed with me.

I wish: that we had a dog.

I can usually be found: at the train table or on the swing set.

I need: a book, a hug, and a kiss before bed.

I argue: when I don't get my way.

I wonder: when I'll be as big as my brothers. (Soon. Very soon.)

I am happy when: I'm doing math with Mommy.

I'm so glad that Ian is a part of our family. He keeps us laughing and playful. He is the best sleeper I've ever had. He tries hard to make good choices a lot of the time. I'm proud of him.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Big Top Fun

Here are some highlights from Ian's circus/clown birthday party today. These were the invitations, which we hand-delivered a couple weeks back.Our living room became the big top for the morning. We had faces painted,We ate corn dogs, animal crackers, lemonade, and kettle corn. We played some clown games, like walking the tightrope with clown clothes on, pin the nose on the clown (which Bronwen nailed right on the bulls-eye!), and keeping the balloon off the ground. We had entertainment by our own clown, "Cheesy Mac" aka Kimball, who had watched the professional clowns at the circus last month and taken a few notes. We had a beautiful cake, decorated by Aunt Alli, and opened presents. Fun was had by all, and I've already vacuumed up the popcorn that was ground into the carpet, so it feels like a success! Happy Birthday, Ian!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Give a Little Bit

So, on Monday morning our little homeschool set aside our math workbooks and Russian lessons and attended a political rally. Not really being the activist type, I had never attended such an event before. But this was a rally for Prop 8, which you already know I feel very passionate about.

The rally was exciting and inspiring, as it was meant to be. It was also meant to be a positive media event, but I must say that I have been terribly disappointed with the media's coverage of the rally and press conference. Those who even covered the story at all published terrible pictures of people looking bored, angry, and disinterested. They spliced into their story about Prop 8 and those who support it very long personal interest stories about lesbian couples , recently married, who were portrayed as everyday and American as apple pie and who were quoted as saying that their "lives would be turned upside down if Prop 8 passes." This so-called unbiased coverage was clearly meant to sway the voters towards a no vote.

Today I have come across a couple noteworthy things about the Prop 8 campaign in California. First, here is an article in MarketWatch that cites a poll that has Yes on 8 ahead in the polls by 9 points among likely California voters. No wonder our local news stations had stopped reporting the poll numbers on Prop 8!

Secondly, LDS Girl shares a letter written by an LDS temple attender, who shares an experience in crossing protest lines to visit the Oakland Temple. Wow. Go read it.

Here is a press release by ProtectMarriage.Com sharing a letter they sent to the state Board of Education and other responsible parties. The aforementioned departments of our California government have insisted that gay marriage will not be taught in our schools. Here is an excerpt of the press release:
"Most interestingly, BOE President Mitchell seems unaware of guidelines on his own Web site, which state that 96 percent of school districts accept the technically voluntary sex education curriculum. Further, the California Department of Education (CDE) Web site notes specifically that in the 96 percent of school districts that do accept the curriculum, they are REQUIRED to include instruction and materials that “teach respect for marriage.”

Finally, I want to ask everyone who reads this, whether they have donated already or not, to go to ProtectMarriage.com right now and donate $10 more. It doesn't matter if you live out of state--this proposition will affect other states sooner or later. They say, "as goes California, so goes the nation." I know that we are all pinching pennies in this economy, but believe me, the people in Hollywood with fat wallets are giving plenty. You may have heard that the California Teacher's Association recently gave $1.25 million to defeat Prop 8. The only way that we can compete with that is if everyone who feels strongly about preserving marriage and family gives a little--or a lot, depending on your means. But all of us can afford $10 more. Go do it now. Do it for your kids. Do it for your grandkids. And if you have some time to give between now and election day, we could use your help!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Question of the Day

So I'm going to try something and see how it works. I'm posting a question for you, my readers. And I want you to leave a comment with your answer. So here goes:

  • If you could have anything for dinner tonight, what would it be? Would you make it, would someone you love make it, or would you be ordering it in a restaurant?
Here's my answer:

I'm in the mood for something that someone else made tonight, perhaps because I have spent the last 2 1/2 days making food for Jared's Patient Appreciation Day. If I could have anything I wanted for dinner tonight, I'd have Mexican food at Erin's house. Although I'd be thrilled to eat anything at Erin's house. We'd eat until we were too full and then lounge by the pool while the kids played, talking about our college days, homeschooling, recipes, and blogging. It's quite a drive to get there, but the more I think about it, the more I want to hop in the car.

Leave the light on for me, Erin! I'll be in sometime in the middle of the night.

(This picture was taken the last time we had Mexican food at Erin's, in July.)

Now, what do you want to eat?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Past, Present, Future

My ancestors came long ago to America seeking religious freedom. Some, like Isaac Wheeler, came as early as the 1600s from England to Massachusetts. They were Protestants who wanted to be free of the Church of England and the persecution that was heaped upon them. Others came in the mid-1800s from England, Norway, and Denmark after joining the LDS (Mormon) Church there.

America offered a land free of religious persecution (although the Mormons had to go all the way to the wilderness of Utah to find that); a land where its citizens were guaranteed the Freedom of Religion; the freedom from a government mandated, political church. And although the early European settlers of the colonies and later United States had various reasons for coming there, a great many of them were seeking that same freedom.

I often think about those ancestors of mine and about the blessings that I have in my life because of the sacrifices that they made. They wanted a better life for themselves and for their posterity. They helped to build this great nation, which became of beacon of freedom to the world.

I also think about my own children and posterity. Will they look back at the choices that I made and thank me for them? Will their world be one in which religious freedom is tolerated? Will they enjoy the same comfort and safety that I do as I worship God as I see fit and teach my children to do likewise?

I strongly believe that Proposition 8 in California (and similar ballot initiatives in other states) on traditional marriage will have an impact for ill or good on whether or not my children enjoy the same freedoms that I do--the liberties that my ancestors sought when they left their homes, families, and native lands behind to go to a strange, unknown land.

I know that I have already posted a few times about Prop 8, but I feel that I need to do everything I can to speak out about this issue. Redefining traditional marriage as being between PartyA and Party B (or between two brides or two grooms) is legislating that there is no difference between a homosexual "civil union" and a heterosexual marriage. If that is the case, churches will surely be sued for preaching that homosexuality is against God's will. They will be prosecuted for refusing to perform gay marriages. They will be forced to place adoptive children in homosexual homes. They will not be allowed to live (and perhaps even teach) according to their religious beliefs.

Those who oppose Prop 8 say that these are scare tactics, that this issue has nothing to do with religion. That is simply not true. Already a doctor has been sued (and ruled against) for refusing to artificially inseminate a lesbian woman, even though he referred her to another doctor who would do it. He refused on the grounds that he was morally opposed to gay couples parenting children. And the court ruled that he does not have the right to be opposed to that. It doesn't matter that the woman could receive the service she sought from another doctor. His rights to believe in traditional marriage and families was trumped by her right to be inseminated by any fertility doctor she chose.

This is just one example of how aggressively the gay community is pursuing what they label civil rights. (If you would like to hear how a number of African American community members feel about having gay rights compared to civil rights, watch this video.)

Some will cry out that you can't legislate morality, that it violates the separation of church and state to do so. I strongly disagree. Our founding fathers most definitely legislated morality, and we continue to do so today. Murder, fraud, embezzling, perjury, those are all examples of legislated morality. If we are going to live in a society where anything goes, where we are not even allowed to say that we believe another's choices and lifestyle to be wrong, that is not the separation of church and state. It is abandoning God completely, and turning our back on the fact that truth might exist. It is, as in Judges 17:6, "In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes."

The separation of church and state was never meant to eliminate God, but to eliminate an official church who was so interwoven with the government that corruption was inevitable. It was meant to allow people to worship according to the dictates of their conscience.

Proposition 8 does not take away the rights of gays to live openly as gays. It does not take away their domestic partnership rights. It does not take away any rights. It only seeks to define marriage the way that it has been defined since Adam and Eve.

You may be tired of hearing about this. I am tired of hearing about it. But I believe that the choice that we make this fall will have a fundamental difference on the future America that we give to our posterity. So I don't care which candidate you vote for for president. I don't care which congressman or woman you plan to elect this year. But if you are undecided about how you will vote on traditional marriage, please consider my words. Please think about the long term implications of this law. Please don't just shrug your shoulders and say, "to each his own. It won't hurt me." It will impact every member of this society in not very many years.

And if you have already decided to vote Yes on 8, keep talking about it. Do all you can to educate your friends, neighbors, and associates. This is our children's future. We need to handle with care.

Painting by Gordon Grant; photo of sculpture taken by me at Conference Center in Salt Lake City, UT.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"I Am" Meme

I am: too lazy to think of something to post about tonight!

I want: to be out of debt.

I have: everything I need to be happy: faith, family, friendship, food.

I dislike: whining.

I miss: living near my mom. The Wasatch mountains. Russia.

I fear: losing one of my children (even though I know that they are mine for eternity.)

I feel: grateful for the multitude of tender mercies in my life.

I hear: nothing. And it sounds wonderful. (The kids are in bed, Jared is reading.)

I smell: sweaty! Just got back from a walk.

I cry: often. When I hear beautiful music, especially hymns. When I read a great book or watch a great movie. I even cry at the end of most Amazing Race episodes and anytime I see an LDS commercial. I am a crier.

I usually: have some chocolate in the house.

I search for: the phone. It only rings four times before it goes to voice mail and I never know where I put it down last.

I wonder: what the Lord has in store for me and my family.

I regret: the moment after I say something gossipy.

I love: my husband. Duh.

I care: about people commenting on my blog.

I always: check my email when I walk by the computer.

I am not: skinny. Sigh.

I remember: the words to almost every hymn.

I believe: that God's plan for me is better than anything I could come up with, and I need to trust Him to guide my life.

I dance: with my babies.

I sing: alto. Too loud, generally.

I don't always: get my way. But I usually do!:)

I argue: when I'm hungry or tired.

I write: to get in touch with my thoughts and feelings.

I win: sometimes, but not consistently. But I love to play.

I lose: paperwork, business cards, the lids to tupperware.

I wish: there were more hours in the day.

I listen: to conference talks on my walks.

I don't understand: chemistry.

I can usually be found: at home.

I need: a little time to myself every day, for prayer, scripture study, exercise, and to talk to my mom.

I forget: to send thank you cards. (Actually, I just procrastinate until I'm too embarrassed to send them.

I am happy: when I've had time to myself for prayer, scripture study, exercise, and to talk to my mom!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday Favorites

My dear friend Heidi, has been posting these on her family blog the past few weeks and I decided to steal the idea. I'm always interested in a post idea that is quick!

Please keep in mind that I have a terrible time picking a single favorite of anything. I am both too fickle and too indecisive to stick to one favorite ice cream flavor, song, book, or color. This means that I should be able to post lots of these Friday favorites over the weeks or months to come, because my favorites are vast and somewhat changing.

Anyhow, without further ado, here are a few of my favorites today:

Ice Cream? I don't want it this week unless it is vanilla bean, paired with my current favorite fruit in a pie, cider, turnover, crisp:

Favorite thing to curl up with this weekend (since my other favorite thing to curl up with will be in Tahoe):

As my eyebrows are ridiculously blond, this is my favorite item in my make-up bag (LM brow definer):

Favorite photo I've recently snapped (Isaac on his first birthday, eating a cupcake his aunt Michal made for him):

Favorite blog post I read this week: Suldog's Where I'm From. Read it and be touched and inspired to compose your own. Well done, Suldog!

Favorite thing I made this week: Whole Wheat Banana Bread. I really really adore this recipe and hadn't made it for a while. It is so very yummy. Here's the 4 loaf version (since I have a new/old mixer now). You can cut it in half for two loaves, but I recommend making the larger batch and freezing or giving away what you don't scarf down immediately.

  • 5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 4 cups smashed ripe bananas (about 6-8)
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans, optional (I left them out because I wanted my kids to eat it this time. When I don't want to share with them, I always opt for the pecans.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180 Celsius). Spray 4 loaf pans liberally.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, soda, and salt. Stir and toss together, then set aside.

In your stand mixer (you can also use a hand mixer), combine the butter and sugar and beat well. Beat in the banana, then the eggs. The mixture will look curdled. Stir in the nuts, if using. Add the dry ingredients and mix lightly in mixer or stir in just till blended.

Spread evenly into loaf pans. Bake for about 55 minutes, until a skewer or toothpick comes out clean. Cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from the pans. Try not to eat the entire loaf in one sitting.

What are your favorites this week?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tender Mercies

I was blessed to witness a few of the Lord's tender mercies yesterday, not all of which I can share. But one I thought you might be interested in:

Alli, my favorite sister, called me at about 3:30 pm and said that she'd found a full-size used Bosch mixer on craigslist for $45!!! It has all of the attachments and works great. I had already despaired of finding one used on craigslist or ebay, since the going rate for a used one seemed to be closer to $200 by the time the auctions were over. That price was discouraging to me, as one reason that I am using my mixer so much is an attempt to save money and live within our means by making my own breads from scratch.

When I looked at the listing, my heart fell because it was 3 days old. There was no way it would still be available. But lucky for me, the owner had listed it as a "bosch machine" instead of a mixer--so it showed up with a bunch of power tools instead of kitchen gadgets, so no one else had found it. She let me know up front that the price was firm, which was fine by me. I tried to hide how absolutely thrilled I was at my good fortune blessing. My FIL picked it up for me, as I was in the middle of life with my kids and I didn't want it to get away to another buyer. Anyway, I don't have a photo for you, as the mixer is still at his house, but it is mine! All mine! I'm going to celebrate by baking something as soon as I pick it up. (How about some cookies for my give-away winner, listed below!)

Thank you all for your condolences and kind words. My post yesterday was somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but I truly was upset and concerned about how I'd function without a mixer. And it turned out that I only had to go 24 hours, with a loaner in the meantime! That, and other more significant blessings yesterday, reminded and reassured me that the Lord knows me personally, that he is aware of my little life and cares to bless me, even with all the turmoil in the world.

And now, for the give-away winners, who were selected randomly by my kids:

The winner of the cookies is: My Ice Cream Diary! (Nice, since she is sending me some jewelry this week, and I already owe her a CD.)

The winner of the cookbook CD is: Debbie (I'll drop it off--no need to send me your address)

The winner of the Princess Bride book is: Cellista

Congratulations, all, and thank you for participating! Send me your addresses (sleepymumATgmailDOTcom) and I will sincerely try to get these mailed off to you this weekend.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

In Mourning

Yesterday, I witnessed a true and loyal friend call it quits. It had lived a full and rich life, providing baked goodness for my family and loved ones for the last few years. I am referring to my Bosch Compact Mixer.

I will confess that I shed real tears when it was apparent to me that there would be no resurrection for this mixer. You see, I have been making all of our family's bread for 10 months now. Not only did I use this mixer for bread, but also for rolls, cookies, frostings, cakes, and pretty much anything I make that requires more power than a wooden spoon. And deep down, I knew that I hadn't been fair in what I asked of it. My projects were mostly fit for it's bigger sibling, the one whose price made me cringe. Now I know that it is probably better to just save your pennies for the one that really meets your needs.

My sister came over about an hour later and I broke the news to her. Ever practical, she suggested that since it clearly wasn't going to start again by jiggling the handle or reinserting the dough hook, we should give it an autopsy. Perhaps we could bring it back to life? I looked for the proper surgical tools and she began.

We first discovered an extra layer of fat around the internal organs. A layer of old, crusty bread dough clung to the lining of the mixer. It must have crept in, a tablespoon at a time, through the small opening where the attachments go. We never knew that it was in there at all. (I will confess that it made me wonder what my insides look like.) Once we cleaned it out, it looked to us like a gear was broken, but we couldn't find the broken pieces anywhere. Could they have been somehow consumed by the evil bread dough? It's a mystery we will never be able to solve.

As I contemplated life without my little friend, I began to desperately call all of my friends who bake enough to have a stand mixer but not often enough to miss it if I borrowed it for a week. Thankfully, I was able to locate one (thanks, Teresa!)--a nice big 800 watt Bosch that will not shrink at my four-loaf batches, with which I intend to load the freezer. I hope my little mixer understands and forgives me for moving on so quickly.

Funeral services will be held today, as I remove the remains from my kitchen. Anyone interested may attend, but don't expect cookies at the event!

In lieu of flowers, condolences may be sent in the form of cookies, bread, and icing. Tip-offs to yard sale mixers (full size) would also be appreciated.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Prop 8 Ad Backlash

Updated Tuesday, October 7th

Recently, protectmarriage.com launched its first television ad. The commercial features Richard Peterson, a professor of law at Pepperdine Univeristy, talking about the legal ramifications of defeating Proposition 8. Those who oppose Prop 8 insist that this is all hogwash and has nothing to do with gay marriage. I respectfully disagree with them.

The "gay rights" community is seeking in every arena to validate their lifestyle choice and seek to put down anyone who believes that living a homosexual lifestyle is against God's will and society's best interest. (Incidentally, my family (and church) believes in chastity before marriage and complete fidelity within marriage, and teach our children accordingly.) You can bet that once validated and legalized, this community will turn to suing the churches that refuse to perform gay marriages. They will seek to silence those who speak out in defense of traditional families and marriage. They call evil "good" and good, "evil". (Isaiah 5:20)

Interestingly enough, those who cry out for "equal rights" and freedom of speech are also crying for Richard Peterson to be fired by Pepperdine for expressing his own opinion. The ad never says or even implies that Pepperdine University supports Prop 8, only that a professor there does. Richard Peterson asked the university's permission before he appeared in the ad, voicing his own concerns about the ramifications of legalizing gay marriage.

It seems that those who preach tolerance do not know what the word means at all. They are not tolerant of families speaking up in defense of marriage. They portray us as bigots and call for discrimination against us (as in calling on Pepperdine to fire Richard Peterson for his appearance in the commercial.)

Proposition 8 does not seek to criminalize homosexuality. It does not take away the rights of gays to enter into domestic partnerships or civil unions. It does not even mention homosexuality. Proposition 8 has only these words: Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognized in California.

And yet, the homosexual community would take this away from us and make it their own.

The term "silent majority" has come about because those in the minority have learned to raise their voices in protest against things they do not like. Let us take note, but without name calling and smearing.

Please write to Pepperdine and voice your support for freedom of speech, for freedom of religion, and for the right of all of us to speak out in defense of traditional marriage. Here are a few email addresses to get you started:

Edited 10/7

Thanks to everyone who emailed Pepperdine. Thanks to your efforts and countless others, Pepperdine has heard our voice and Richard Peterson's position is safe. They have asked for us to stop emailing them so that they can get back to work.

And vote Yes on Prop 8!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Celebrate! (And a Giveaway)

I wish we were having a real party, but let's have a blog party to celebrate my 200th post! I'll wait while you grab some chips and salsa or something chocolatey and read on.

When I started this blog, I was just looking for an outlet and something that would encourage me to look for ways to "relish motherhood". What I've found is a lot of friends, a place where I can be myself, and a chance to work on my rusty old writing skills. I've been able to chronicle some of our comings and goings, milestones of our kids, but mostly just how I feel about things.

Sometimes I feel guilty about blogging--perhaps because I enjoy it so much, perhaps because it doesn't feel productive, because it takes away from time I could spend serving someone else. But then I get a comment from one of you, or a friend mentions that something that I said in a blog helped them, and I decide that maybe it's not a completely selfish hobby. So thank you to those of you who have left such sweet comments for me--it means so much.

Since this wouldn't be half as fun without you, dear readers, I wanted to give out some door prizes at my party. As I am frugally minded and striving to set my house in order, I had to think outside of the box on what I could offer as a giveaway. (I am not one of those cool bloggers who has sponsors to donate giveaway items. How can I get hooked up with that?) Keep in mind that I am postally challenged and even as I write this, I can see a stack of cookbook CDs in padded envelopes that have yet to be mailed to the participants of my summer writing contest. (I'll get those out soon, girls, I promise!)

So, here are three things that I'm giving away.

One: a batch of my most favorite chocolate chip cookies, delivered to your door (by mail if you don't live in my own town.) This will require me to actually go to the post office on the same day I bake cookies, but I'm willing to do it because I love you--and because I need to go anyway and mail off these dadburned cookbook CDs.

Two: a copy of my cookbook CD, which I originally published to give to my family and friends last Christmas. If you already have one coming to you from the writing contest, you can opt out of this prize or give it away yourself.

Third: a copy of one of my favorite books (which has been made into one of my favorite movies) : The Princess Bride byWilliam Goldman. I'm going to warn you now that I'm ordering it online and it may be gently used. It will not detract from the enjoyment that you and your family will surely have while reading it. Just think of it as a recycled, green prize. I'm a big fan of used books as well as of The Princess Bride.

So, if you want to participate, just leave me a comment telling me which of these prizes you'd most like (or alternatively, you can tell me why you like to read my blog and I'll consider you for all three prizes. Because I like compliments:) You have until the end of day Tuesday, October 7th (11:59 pm PST). My kids will help me do a random drawing. I'll do my best to get your prizes mailed off sooner than later.

While you're here at my party, I wanted to introduce you to a friend of mine--another blog. My real-life friend, Christine, has started a blog that I really want you to check out. She already has one about cupcakes and one that offers free interior design, and her new blog is an (almost) daily scripture study response. If you're lucky enough to know her, you know that Christine really loves the scriptures and has a gift for teaching from them. She has taught early morning seminary (a weekday scripture study class for high school kids), adult Sunday School, Relief Society (for the women of our congregation), and also teaches a monthly class on the Book of Mormon for any of the women in our congregation who want to attend. Her classes are engaging and spiritual, and she always has great resources for quotes, wonderful stories, and analogies that help you really get it. I love reading this and don't feel guilty about spending a few minutes a day on this blog. So go check it out and leave her a comment so she won't be the lonely girl at the party!:)

Oh, and one last thing. The Guest Book. I added this new thingy to my sidebar called Followers. I think that it's an unfortunate name because no one really wants to be a follower--didn't our moms warn us against that? But I would love it if you just wanted to be a reader that Blogger called "follower"!:) It's easy to sign up if you have a blogger account. Then people can click on your picture and come and visit your blogs. So feel free to join the ranks. I promise only positive peer pressure will be involved.

There. We've gotten all of the business out of the way. Now I really wish you were here with me to have our little party. At least I can host a virtual party with my pajamas on and the house less than spic-and-span. And no clean-up afterwards!. We should really have these more often. Thanks for coming!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Eight Tag

I have a few post ideas cooking right now, but I haven't had the time I need to spend on such weighty topics as the economy, teaching our children modesty, and saving traditional marriage. I hope to do these posts next week when we're taking a week off of school, but as I am putting lots of things off until next week, it may be just as busy as all the others!

Anyhow, Rebecca tagged me for a game where we can tell any 8 random facts about ourselves. I've tweaked it a little, and I won't tag anyone, so just read and leave me a comment! And stay tuned--my next post is #200 and I have a giveaway planned.

Eight Things I Wish I Had More Time For:
  1. Reading--I have been reading Wives and Daughters for 2 months now--pathetic
  2. Blogging--this twice a week posting is driving me crazy
  3. Calling friends on the phone--this is a rare treat anymore, but used to be my daily staple
  4. Studying the scriptures--I do get in 30 minutes most days, but I'd love to spend more
  5. Traveling--although money is also to blame here
  6. Spending time with extended family
  7. Cleaning and Household Projects--sad, but true
  8. Developing New Talents--I really want to learn to sew, practice the piano, and so much more.
Eight Books I'm So Glad That I've Read:
  1. The Book of Mormon--I couldn't navigate my life without this one, hand in hand with number 2. I spend time reading it every day and it never gets old or fails to fill my cup.
  2. The Holy Bible--see number 1.
  3. Covenant Hearts--click to read my review. The best book on marriage I've ever read.
  4. The Well-Trained Mind--although I am still working through this one, I use it as a reference. It helped me develop my philosophy and hopes for homeschool into real plans.
  5. Anna Karenina--this powerful novel so beautifully depicts the Russian consciousness of the time and illustrates the tragedy that comes from selfishness and adultery. Possibly my favorite novel of all time.
  6. The Out-of-Sync Child--excellent resource on Sensory Integration Dysfunction/Sensory Processing Disorder.
  7. On Becoming Babywise--this book is considered to be quite controversial. And yet, most of the criticisms on it seem to be based on "hearing about the book"-- I did not find it's method of helping babies sleep through the night to be rigid or cruel at all. What I took away from this book was a philosophy to feed my baby when they first wake rather than right before it's time to sleep again. I tried to keep them on a 3 hour schedule, although I think you can tell if your baby is truly hungry and I certainly would bend in such situations. I always made sure to change their diaper before putting them down so that they would fall asleep in their cribs. My outcome (with babies 3 and 4--the babies I had after reading this book)? I did not have babies crying themselves to sleep. If they cried, I picked them up. What I had was babies who knew how to fall asleep without me suckling them, rocking them, or sleeping next to them. They were both sleeping 12 hours straight at night before they were 8 weeks old. Twelve hours. This method worked much better for us than what he had done previously, which was get the baby to sleep, put him down, and hope he stayed asleep. Those babies eventually had to be trained to put themselves to sleep when they were much older--and that's when the real "crying it out" took place!
  8. Pride and Prejudice--How could I not name this one? It's not that it has made me a better person or anything, but it is so well written, so delightfully funny, so very Jane Austen. This book is here for all of those great books that I couldn't fit on this list of eight.
Eight Foods I Can and Will Eat Any Time of Day (all are homemade unless otherwise noted):
  1. Macaroni and Cheese
  2. Apple Boysenberry German Chocolate Lemon Meringue Pie (German Chocolate from Marie Callendar's)
  3. Fresh Bread
  4. Granola (Homemade or Trader Joe's Vanilla Almond)
  5. Cheesecake
  6. Anything Chocolate
  7. Fresh Salsa
  8. Cookies
(Notice a trend there? It's almost all sweet.)

Eight Things I
Love About Being A Mom:
  1. Kissing a squishy, chubby cheek
  2. Saying "I Love You" after family prayers
  3. One-on-one tender moments with my kids
  4. Sharing books I love with my kids
  5. Hugging, holding, and rocking
  6. Singing
  7. Trying to interpret a one-year-old's language
  8. Watching them sleep