Monday, October 27, 2008


Would anyone please like to tell me where October has gone? I usually put up decorations and the other day I thought, "Why didn't I put up my Halloween decorations yet? Oh, I didn't realize it was October!" And did I feel better after I answered my question? No, not really because obviously I have lost my mind! So the next question is, is it worth getting them out and putting them up now?

What I did not forget to do, however, is buy candy. Apparently, chocolate is critical and witches are not. I bought the nice big bag of chocolate yummies. On the front of the package, all of the candy bars get equal billing, but when you open the bag (which I would, of course, never do) there is a serious ratio inconsistency when it comes to Almond Joy! In fact, right at the moment, I think there are none at all in my bag. Spooky!

Friday, October 24, 2008


Matthew was rushing to print out some papers for his tenure documentation. As is his tradition, he was running a little behind schedule which caused a surplus of panic when the printer would. not. print. Of course. So we spent some time researching printers then proceeded to the store. Sales guy: "What kind of printer do you have now?" "How long have you had it?" Me: "We've only had it about eight years." SG: "Really? That long!!! That must be a really good printer to have lasted that long. I have to buy a new one every year or so." WHAT!!! When we bought our printer if felt like we were going all out. To have a real inkjet printer in our house that could print pictures and color, wow! It has had its moments of acting up, jamming, disobedience. It has required its fair share of expenses in the way of new ink. Just another member of our family. It cost enough that I thought it could keep on going, but apparently it was like 106 in printer years! The sales guy's comments did not instill confidence in me. Do I really want to buy Consumer Reports best printer ever if it isn't made to last? Why can't they make things that will last 20 years? This is my problem with vacuums, too. I was replacing one every two years until I finally spent some more money. Why make garbage? If it is disposable, then don't charge $200 for it. And don't sell it to me. I don't want it.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Oh no -- I forgot the camera!

This is a familiar refrain in my life. We went down to Champaign last weekend -- a beautiful autumn afternoon spent at an apple orchard and tooling through Amish towns. The little girls rode a pony for the first time, they traversed a bouncy obstacle course, everyone went through a maze, we saw my totally gorgeous niece, Miriam, and her family. Her boys are adorable and she is due to have a baby any minute. The kids all played great and we had a delightful visit. But will we remember these details to the extent that they deserve? No. Because we didn't have the camera. It is not documented. And we all know what a sieve our brains are. Unh uh, it is not good. This morning, Ella and Lucy went to their first sewing class. They did really well and had a great time with their lovely, fun, kind, and patient teacher, Sister Syndy. As Lucy threaded her first bobbin and sewed her first perfect stitches, I thought how nice it would have been to capture the moment with a photo. But no, no, no -- not happening. I have one picture of Lucy's baptism, and none -- zero! -- of the baby's blessing day. Of course, I had just given birth so maybe someone else should have thought about pictures!!! But I am not upset. Most of our photos are taken at home because that is where the camera is. If only the newfangled thing were a little more portable... Now wouldn't that be a wonderful idea!

About sewing class, I even learned a few things this morning. My mother and my sisters all sew and I don't know quite what happened with me. It seems like growing up you kind of had to figure things out yourself and I wasn't interested enough. (And that is how I treat my kids, not showing them how to do things because no one ever showed me, but that is a completely different subject...) I have had bouts of sewing mania, but they are always accompanied by copious amounts of frustration with tangled threads, missed cuts, burned fabric, and general brain malfunctions. I sat in the room with them while they sewed and started getting excited about sewing again. I have three unfinished quilt tops in my attic, some fabric for curtains in the closet, and more fabric just lying around waiting for inspiration to hit. My last project was five years ago when I made a slipcover for my couch. It was nice at first, but didn't last. And it wasn't fun to make. Perhaps it just isn't my thing, but I hope not.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Ten Things I've Learned From My Babies for 10/10

1. Smile -- when you smile at people they will usually smile back and you've brightened their day.
2. Get enough sleep -- or you will be peevish
3. Try new things -- you'll never know if you can do it if you don't try
4. Don't give up -- everything takes a little bit of practice
5. Be delighted by simple things -- a chattering squirrel; the movement of a cat's tail
6. When someone pats your back, reciprocate and pat theirs
7. Love yourself -- look in the mirror and smile; be amazed at what your hands can do!
8. Sparkly things are fab
9. Tolerate peculiarity -- a nonjudgemental blank stare will usually suffice (this is generally reserved for older siblings and when mommy is dancing)
10. Listen to your body -- eat when you're hungry, stop when you're full, sleep when you're tired...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

As much as I may seem to be a honking professional (see previous post), I sadly am not. Yesterday I saw one of my students and her husband on the street so I got all excited and started waving and wanted to honk to get her attention, but it didn't work. I kept pressing the steering wheel and waving and driving, then finally when I was past her the horn sounded and I could see her in my rearview mirror looking around wondering who on Earth was honking at her. Did not go well. And then other times I simply touch the steering wheel lightly and will honk accidentally and then I have to smile and look super friendly so people won't think I am one of those overbearing people who think they are better than everyone.

Speaking of being better than everyone, why can't people drive while they are talking on the phone? Inevitably when I see people whose driving leaves something to be desired I observe that they are often talking on their phones! They don't notice the light has changed, they can't turn normally, they are being irritating in a general way... I, on the other hand, can drive perfectly well while I am on the phone and it is my time of choice for catching up on all of my calls. After all, I am just sitting there, and it usually, but not always, distracts me from becoming too annoyed with everyone else around me.

And speaking of being distracted, my friend found me on Facebook the other day and I didn't even know I was signed up! I don't know how she found me because I pride myself on being un-findable, what with my anonymous name and everything. I thought she was just being friendly and e-mailing me to be her friend so I decided to mosey on over there and they wouldn't let me sign up because there already was someone with my e-mail. Hmmm. So I worked really hard at finding what my password would be and realized that this had all transpired in July when I was looking for a new cell phone and had taken a cell phone quiz on Facebook. I know, pretty boring really, but there you go, my life really isn't that interesting, I am merely commenting on it.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


The dangers of not having a cupboard door! I found a very busy boy after turning around for one second! And no those are not virtual smudges on your computer screen, just real ones in my kitchen. It's shibui, ne?  The last eggplants from our garden -- we made the yummy eggplant casserole (recipe link on sidebar) and everyone loved it!

Monday, October 6, 2008

conference, ice skating

We had a wonderful weekend and for once managed to watch all the sessions of conference. I loved so much of it -- especially Elder Eyring and Elder Holland, and of course, Pres. Monson. There were so many good things and I always vow to do better, but then we couldn't even quite make it through dinner without contention -- wait, we couldn't even get through most of the talks without something going on. We were giving the kids candy for answering questions and being reverent, how's that for choosing the better part? The little girls played quietly and were serving us pretend tea and cakes, drawing, and playing with barbies. Ella worked on friendship bracelets. Baby was delightful to watch as he would go back and forth from one person to another making funny noises and perfecting crawling over legs. Charles was having a little harder time -- wanting to draw, but instead throwing pens at people's heads; wanting to hand out candy, but instead throwing candy at people's heads; wanting to play with cars, but instead... There was definitely a theme in his activities. We also had the inspired idea to put together the incomparable "Cansolidator" that I bought for our food storage, but that wasn't conducive for listening very well so we put it off for the breaks and I just have to say that it was as much fun as those things usually turn out to be. It still isn't quite finished.

I took the girls and baby ice skating while the boys went to the priesthood session Saturday night. They did so well! The little girls had never been and both did great. Lucy has roller blades so that obviously helped a lot. Ibby came in and out, but seemed to enjoy herself. I sat under the heater and chatted with some friends so we all won.

My mom turned 75 yesterday (she doesn't even dye her hair!) and I tried not to think too much about everyone having a party without me. I really miss being close to my family at times like that. It seemed even worse yesterday because I always want to get together with family on Conference weekend anyway. I think my parents are amazing. Everyone is always surprised when I tell them their ages. When asked what my mom would like to be doing in ten years she said that she hoped she wouldn't be here, but I really hope she is. You're still going strong, mom! I love you and Happy Birthday!

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