Friday, January 27, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Deep fried spam

The future

 I made a purchase from the apple store and this is how it went: 

1) Take desired item from shelf. 

2) Take iPhone and open Apple Store App.

3) Point indicated section at barcode.

4) When barcode is recognized, iPhone will click. 

5) Purchase has been made using credit card on file at iTunes. 

6) Receipt emailed to you and you're free to leave the store. 

Soooooooo awesome!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


 Learning to post to my blog from my iPad using blogsy. 


Monday, January 23, 2012

Big Brothers

Nick's Assignment: 
Write a poem, using similes, about a pet or a person.

My brother is
as silly as a monkey,
as fun as a best friend, and
as strong as an ox.

My brother 
climbs like a rock climber,
skis fast like a group of running elk, and
does back flips like a ninja.

By Nicholas S.

Coming Out

Last week I was in charge of the Jr. High Spelling Bee (and Marty won!!). In March I'm in charge of Maturation.  These are two little jobs, not very stressful, but require some thought and time to make sure all runs smoothly.  And I'm so good with that small level of commitment.

I just got a phone call asking if I'd head up Teacher Dinners at the High School during Parent/Teacher conferences next month.  I said "no" but would be happy to bring something.

Last week I got a call saying I was unanimously approved by the nomination committee to be the PTA President at the Jr. High.  Again, a big, fat, "no, but I'm certainly flattered." (Notice no one on the nomination committee volunteered themselves to be the PTA Pres.?)

The great thing was I didn't even feel a twinge of remorse. Not a twinge of guilt for saying "no." I did fall back a bit on "I've taken my turn" and "I'm Pres. of the Development Foundation next year" so maybe those were my "outs."  Do we need "outs"?  I think even if I didn't, I would have still felt perfectly comfortable saying no.

Part of me thought, "Do you know how many people I've offended this year?" It's not been pretty.  But I'm trying to recover from all that and hence, maybe ready to blog again.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Lights are Off

Our neighbors keep their sideporch light on all night. I've always thought it was a good idea in lots of ways -- keeping the house lit is welcoming, and probably safe.  I've wondered if it was symbolic...they had a daughter who died and my imagination dreamed up that it was kept on as a reminder that all the children weren't home.

The only small problem is I like to sleep in pitch black dark. And the light shines right in our bedroom.  I was so happy when we got shutters instead of blinds because they blocked the light so much better.

But now they've moved.  It's been a several year process of maybe they'll get to move back, maybe not.  But last week it was for sure not.  And they moved their final belongings.  And for the first time in 8 years, that light has been off for several nights in a row.  I miss it.  I miss them.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

My Mom's Birthday

Mom. On her 65th birthday. Oops, sorry, I mean 29th.
My mom's birthday was January 8. She's traveling through South America so we communicated via e-mail and Facebook.  But I thought about everything I did that day and how so much is a reflection of her.

I woke up happy. I generally do. We have a lot of happy women in our family. Being positive was very important to my mom. And her mom.  As a teenager upon awaking I wasn't quite as ready to greet the day with a song and a smile as my mom was. She'd come into my room after I'd hit snooze 10 times singing...what would she sing? I can't remember... probably something from a musical. Proabably, "The Hills are Aliiiiiive, With the Sound of Muuuusiiiiic!"  Let's be honest, I didn't appreciate being awakened by my mom singing back then.  But I did appreciate her joy and optimism she passed down.  And now, I am so much better at waking up. When the alarm goes off, I get up. Happy.  Because it's what moms should do.  (Fine, my kids can attest that there are some days that I am grouchy. But I generally wake up happy.)

It was Sunday and I spent church in the Nursery playing with the children. I come from a legacy of women who have an innate ability to interact with children and make them happy. I don't think I was blessed with as much patience and spontinaity (Oh yes, I have some. But my mom, Marge and Grandma have so much patience it's unreal. And combined with my mom's ability to go with the flow, it's superhuman.)

But I love working in Nursery. I begged to be there. I love knowing that I'm good at how to capture their attention during the lesson (Look at this picture of a mother and baby! Everyone put their finger on the baby! Put your finger on the mother! Who has a mother? Your mother loves you!). And I understand their attention span is short and that I'm unaffected by their need to go slide down the slide and then come back to the table.

All this? It's what my mother taught me by example.
My favorite photo of me and my mom. 1971.
I want them to have a healthy snack.  Apple slices, pretzels and sometimes string cheese.  "Isn't this apple delicious?! It's crunchy.  Mmm.  And so sweet and juicy! I love apples! They're so healthy and good for our bodies!"

And then we took an imaginary walk around the room looking for pretend people to help.  The kids and I held hands and we walked to each corner. "Look, there's a little girl who's sad because she's hurt. Let's give her a big hug and kiss it better.  Oh, over there I see a boy who needs a toy.  Do you see him? Let's go give him this pretend toy we're holding!"   

Oh yeah; it's like my mom wrote the words in my brain and I just read them off exactly as she would.  I even feel like my mom when I'm talking like her. I find myself so often thinking, "I sound just like my mom."

I like to sing the songs during Sacrament Meeting. So did my mom.  She wasn't afraid to sing loud with a full voice. She has a beautiful voice and while mine doesn't quite stay in tune all the time, I'm pretty good on the hymns. I think our family just likes to sing.

After church I fed my kids a healthy lunch -- 100% whole wheat bread with All-Natural peanut butter.  Now that they make jam sweetened with fruit juice instead of sugar, I opt for that. But growing up we always had honey.  (And I think I'm allergic to peanuts. Anyone else notice they make your mouth swell?)

I had to wear my glasses all week because I had an appointment to see if I'm a candidate for Lasik (PRK in one year if I don't have a cornea disease which I probably don't but they have to wait a year to measure again, just in case.)  I even had to exercise in them. And when I pulled my hair back into a ponytail and wore my glasses, I LOOKED JUST LIKE MY MOM!  It was a little bit freaky. And the best part was the next day: I wore my sunglasses over my glasses while driving to meet Dan for lunch. TOTALLY MY MOM!

Back to January 8.  I quizzed Marty on the spelling bee words.  My mom spent hours upon hours for days quizzing me in 7th grade for the Jr. High spelling bee.  I REALLY wanted to win!  And she helped me learn those words inside and out.  And then she came to the bee and I still have the list of words she held while she watched and she marked each word that was used and which words I got etc. Maybe it helped calm her nerves because I know she was rooting for me. And I won! And being a winner was such an amazing feeling!

Later I was interviewed at the District Bee and the newspaperman asked me who I owed my spelling ability to. Well, I'm literal. So I heard, "From which genes did you get the ability to spell well?" And I said, "My Dad" (because my mom has always said she was never a great speller and I'm more natural at it, so my inherent ability to spell probably came from my dad).  But I wish he would have asked me who helped me win because then I would have understood more clearly and answered, "My mom, who spent hours quizzing me."

Later that day I helped Nicholas and Christopher practice for their piano recital.  I paid Nicholas a quarter for each time he played his song. "Do you think you can do it 4 times? What about 6?!"  My mom was never above giving us incentives to make something happen.  She told me once about practicing the piano, "When you first create a habit there are 3 stages.  First, you do it because you're getting a reward.  Later you do it because you're supposed to.  But finally you do it because you want to."

That night I read aloud to Nicholas before bed--I couldn't wait to put him to bed so I could find out what happened next in Tomie dePaola's autobiography.  And then I read "A Wind in the Door," by Madeliene L'Engle to Christopher.  My mom always read out loud to us. And she wasn't afraid to cry in the sad parts, like in Bridge Over Terabethia.  And she said she often looked forward to bedtime so she could lay back and read with us.

 My mom and a new friend she met in the hostel.  
She's always meeting new friends.
The "Torre" hike. Torre del Paine, Chile.

Thanks, Mom, for everything you taught me and did for me and passed down to me. Love you!