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31 October 2007

Playing Tag

Keeley is a brave woman. She tagged me for the latest meme: 7 things about myself. So, here goes:

1. I made a penguin suit for my Halloween costume this year. Unfortunatly, I'm not aware of any photographs yet. However, it's not all packed up yet, so there likely will be pictures later. Monkey was a dragon (I originally bought a chicken suit, but Andy insisted that his son is not a chicken for some odd reason. It was also broken, so I took it back.) And Andy was a member of SG-1.

2. I like to scrapbook. It's a logical hobby for someone who enjoys photography as much as I do. After all, you've gotta do something with all those pictures you take! This evening I've been working on a couple of pages of pictures I took at rehearsals for the play "Savior of the World" that our Stake did a few years back. Huge production. Incredible experience! Not too badly done for a buncha amateurs, either. Anyway, that was in late 2004, which should tell you something about how up-to-date my scrapbooks are.

3. I just bought a banjo, and I'm trying to learn it. Practicing is interesting, what with a 13 month old around. But I think I'm making progress. A little.

4. This week I saw in print what I had suspected for a while: Charlotte Mason's method is a type of Classical Education.

5. The movie that tops my "Bad Movies I Plan to Avoid" list is currently the "Golden Compass." Read about how this movie is anti-religion, aiming to sell atheism to kids at Snopes.com.

6. My husband is very clever. He comes up with such phrases as "the wrecking ball of truth" (consider Clinton's scandals) and "try-before-you-buy marriages" (live-ins) and some others that I didn't write down, so I can't remember them. He says that he's not funny, but I think he is!

7. I'm really very stumped on this last one. How's this: I hate Windows Live. I'm working on gradually switching to gmail, but I've had my hotmail address for so long I'm not sure I want to close it down completely. That being said, I think I said, "I hate Windows Live." at least 3 times while trying to get through my email this afternoon. Ugh.

I'm still working on who to tag. I'll get back to you.

28 October 2007

Sunday Scripture 7

He maketh a barren woman to kepp house and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord!

-Psalms 113:9

26 October 2007

Photo Hunt: Pink

Theme: Pink

My sister and I visited the Chicago Botanic Gardens last May, and among the many beautiful flowers that were blooming there were these bleeding hearts. Lovely, aren't they!

Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

We took a trip to a pumpkin patch outside of town; had a blast, and brought home several nice pumpkins that we'll (hopefully) be carving (very) soon.

We're Out of Pampers (Queen spoof)

Turn on your sound... it's terribly funny.


21 October 2007

40 Reasons to Have Kids

Over at Karen Edmisten, she's got her 40 reasons, which are loosely based on this tragic article. As it's become something of a meme, with a list of who's participating over at Domestic Vocation, I thought I'd do some reasons too. Here goes:

40 Reasons to Have Children

1. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth... -Genesis 1:27-28

2. The lovely smell of a clean baby, whenever you want!

3. "mamamamamama" and "dadadadadada" are music to a parents' ears.

4. Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. -Psalms 127:3

5. I've never felt nearly so feminine, so empowered, so alive, as I did after giving birth to my son!

6. Mental development: I've learned more in the past year than I think I did in the 5 preceding it. The need to be the best Mom, the best teacher possible, is a powerful motivator.

7. The opportunity to buy the cool toys you never had.

8. Cuddle-naps. Sleeping babies on your lap are simply divine! And it's just not the same when it's someone else's child.

9. Taking a child outside is a great reason to get out of the house - and it's very likely to be highly entertaining to watch them once you get there!

10. “[The] ability and willingness properly to rear children, the gift to love, and eagerness to express it in soul development, make motherhood the noblest office or calling in the world. She who can paint a masterpiece or write a book that will influence millions deserves the admiration and the plaudits of mankind; but she who rears successfully a family of healthy, beautiful sons and daughters, whose influence will be felt through generations to come, deserves the highest honor that man can give, and the choicest blessings of God” -David O. McKay (Gospel Ideals [1954], 453–54).

11. They're just so darn CUTE.

12. Mothering is a great opportunity to allow the Lord to burn the selfishness out of your soul.

13. Having children makes you extremely aware of the things in your home and how wholesome they are. The radio sounds different when you know your child is listening and absorbing the messages in the songs and ads. The television looks different when you know that those images are being recorded by a little mind. It makes you more aware of the filth in our culture & more motivated to keep it out. This is not only good for the Littles in the home, it's also good for the Bigs.

14. Kids are interesting people who haven't yet been stifled by social dogmas, and as a result, their insights can be both penetrating and highly entertaining.

15. Young children are genuine: what you see is what you get. They haven't learned to be fake.

16. When the real history of mankind is fully disclosed, will it feature the echoes of gunfire or the shaping sound of lullabies? The great armistices made by military men or the peacemaking of women in homes and in neighborhoods? Will what happened in cradles and kitchens prove to be more controlling than what happened in congresses? When the surf of the centuries has made the great pyramids so much sand, the everlasting family will still be standing, because it is a celestial institution, formed outside telestial time. The women of God know this. -Neal A Maxwell (Ensign, May 1978, "The Women of God")

17. Feeling the baby move inside you is sheer magic and complete joy!

18. Friends come and go; a Family is Forever.

19. It's never boring. Something is either always actually happening, or else something needs to happen.

20. I never appreciated the luxury of a shower all by myself - or a host of other little things - until I had a baby!

21. Nursing is a joy and a miracle!

22. Babies make awesome noises.

23. Baby smiles.

24. Baby laughs!!

25. Baby cuddles.

26. Slimy, open-mouthed baby KISSES!

27. Mothering is much more fulfilling than even the best jobs I had. There's no comparison.

28. Motherhood is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind. It places her who honors its holy calling and service next to the angels. -The First Presidency (Messages of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols. (1965–75), 6:178)

29. If imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, then what a complement it will be when our children follow in our footsteps and, when the right time comes, become parents themselves.

30. If you have no children, you will have no grandchildren. I've heard that being the Grandma is wonderful -- not an experience to be missed.

31. Both sudden and gradual understanding dawns about just exactly what were your parents up to all those years!

32. Mom's insistance that you check in when you get home - after you've got you're own apartment and are just visiting for a few days - makes a whole lot more sense after you check your own baby... in their unpadded crib... (with the slats that you actually measured to make sure they're far enough apart...) for the third time... to make sure they're breathing... before going to bed yourself.

33. Baby cuddles. (They're so special they had to be listed twice!)

34. When you walk slowly enough for little leg to keep up and little eyes and hands to explore the world, you have plenty of time to not only enjoy the wonder your child experiences, but to re-discover a little bit of that 1st time isn't the world an amazing place awe yourself.

35. It's a great cover story for why you have so many adorable picture books. (Have you read "One Duck Stuck"? I'm thinking we may need a 2nd copy for the 2nd child... board books are pretty sturdy, but even they wear out after a certain amount of loving!)

36. Baby feet are the cutest things EVER.

37. You get to help them make baby art - and then hang it up, take pictures of it, keep it in the scrapbook, or decide who needs to have a pick-me-up in the mail when they get it!

38. You get to see a whole new side of your husband. And it's wonderful.

39. Knowing that the wonderful man you love is also your baby's Daddy makes him all the more wonderful.

40. You have nothing in this world more precious than your children. When you grow old, when your hair turns white and your body grows weary, when you are prone to sit in a rocker and meditate on the things of your life, nothing will be so important as the question of how your children have turned out. It will not be the money you have made. It will not be the cars you have owned. It will not be the large house in which you live. The searing question that will cross your mind again and again will be, How well have my children done? If the answer is that they have done very well, then your happiness will be complete. -Gordon B. Hinckley (“Your Greatest Challenge, Mother,” Ensign, Nov 2000, 97–100)

Sunday Scripture 6

Psalm of Nephi:

Behold, my soul delighteth in the things of the Lord; and my heart pondereth continually upon the things which I have seen and heard.
Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.

I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me.

And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have atrusted.

My God hath been mysupport; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep.

He hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh.

He hath confounded mine enemies, unto the causing of them to quake before me.

Behold, he hath heard my cry by day, and he hath given me knowledge by visions in the night-time.

And by day have I waxed bold in mighty prayer before him; yea, my voice have I sent up on high; and angels came down and ministered unto me.

And upon the wings of his Spirit hath my body been carried away upon exceedingly high mountains. And mine eyes have beheld great things, yea, even too great for man; therefore I was bidden that I should not write them.

O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath visited men in so much mercy, why should my heart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions?

And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy?

Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul.

Do not anger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions.

Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation.

O Lord, wilt thou redeem my soul? Wilt thou deliver me out of the hands of mine enemies? Wilt thou make me that I may shake at the appearance of sin?

May the gates of hell be shut continually before me, because that my heart is broken and my spirit is contrite! O Lord, wilt thou not shut the gates of thy righteousness before me, that I may walk in the path of the low valley, that I may be strict in the plain road!

O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thy righteousness! O Lord, wilt thou make a way for mine escape before mine enemies! Wilt thou make my path straight before me! Wilt thou not place a stumbling block in my way—but that thou wouldst clear my way before me, and hedge not up my way, but the ways of mine enemy.

O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.

Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen.

-2 Nephi 4:16-35

16 October 2007

I am SO Blessed!

I look at this blog, the Baby Catcher, and read about this midwife's experiences in Africa, and it makes me appreciate the amazing blessings that are simply taken for granted here in the United States. I can't imagine having quads and a stillbirth laboring next to each other without so much as a curtain between, but in some places, it happens. Can you imagine the uproar if it happened here? I think I need to donate more to the Humanitarian Aid fund at church: I have so much.

15 October 2007

5 Little Ducks

I recently joined the FeltFun Yahoo group, and was pleased when one of the first patterns that someone posted after I joined was for "5 Little Ducks." That's a cute song - and it's a counting song. Math is good. So I made up the flannel board pieces, and today we tried them out. Just for the record, when he saw that I wanted to take some pictures, he sat like that all by himself, the little HAM. But if he's going to be so cooperative, I'll bite - it's a cute shot!

As you can see, they were a hit! The funny thing is, I thought when I started that we were laying the foundation for math, what with it being a counting song at all. But by the end of the song, Monkey was telling me "kak kak kak" which was completely adorable!

14 October 2007

Memorization Technique

Recently, I have been feeling like I should know more scriptures. There are so many people out there who have just a wealth of God's word, not just at their fingertips, but always with them, embedded in their minds. But memorization has always been a struggle for me. I don't do it well on the piano, I struggle with scripture mastery verses: the ones I learned in Seminary have all been forgotten now, I don't have many poems memorized, struggle even to remember names of people I should know at church. But I've been wanting to learn some of these verses that the Lord has given us. In addition to the gospel, there is so much beautiful, poetic language in the scriptures! But where does someone like me start...

Well, over at Simply Charlotte Mason they have a system. Looks like it would work, if I just remember to do it. Make it a habit. Charlotte would approve of the habit idea, I think. Just before they give the instructions on how to memorize the verses, and right after they encourage you to include some longer passages, they say this:

Don’t worry about how many days it takes for everyone to memorize the selected Scripture. Hiding God’s Word in your heart is not a race; it’s a lifelong habit.

What a lovely way of looking at things!

Sunday Scripture 5

By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
-Hebrews 11:5-6

11 October 2007

All Kinds of STUFF

We did some art - tried painting in some nice fall colors. It went over pretty well, if you don't count the part where he sampled the paint (tasty!) or where the business end of the brush fell off. We'll call it "finger brush painting," as he used both fingers and the paintbrush about equally. When it was all done and dry, we wrote a thank you note on it in black crayon and sent them to folks that sent birthday stuff. I love mailing his art.

Now that the Monkey is eating solid food 3 times a day, I find that I'm washing the floor much more often than I used to. And could use to do it even more, but we won't talk about that. Most recently, we mopped because I tried giving him those cute little mandarin oranges. I think they're delicious. Apparently I, like so many mothers, don't know what I'm talking about. I gave him 4 or five of the tasty little oranges. He smashed a couple of them to smithereens, and then he very carefully dropped them, one at a time, over the edge of his tray. Sticky nasty mess.

I, not knowing any better, washed the baby and turned him loose when he was done eating, thinking that I'd grab a rag and clean it up real quick. Silly me. No sooner had I set him free than he made a bee-line for the rag drawer (more on that drawer in a minute). Right through the sticky oranges. Now they were all over the place.

Fortunately, the Monkey is as willing to help with the clean up as quickly as he helped with the creation of the mess. He's such a wonder-boy. Hopefully he'll be as willing to play with a mop in 10 years as he is now. And by then he'll have learned to put it back when he's done. Hey, I can dream, right? He does so nicely now.

And this is the Monkey helping me organize my rags. Silly me, I had the rags all in one drawer. He was kind enough to place a few of them in the next drawer up. No folding required: it's easier to see what you have if it's loose. What an awesome kid!

10 October 2007

Family Home Evening

We've started doing FHE in a much more Monkey-centered way than previous attempt have been. Now that he's a Big Boy of a whole year, it seemed like the thing to do. I wasn't sure what to do for the lesson part of the evening. At first I was thinking to do our next scripture story - Joseph in Egypt. However. This story has a LOT of characters. Come to think of it, pretty much all the Bible stories seem to have quite a few. But Jacob had a lot of sons & they play an important role in the story. So we went with a simpler lesson loosely based on one from the nursery manual: Heavenly Father made the sun, moon, and stars. The felt board is, apparently, tons of fun. We got it out & did the "lesson" again a couple of times in the week, and it's still pretty interesting.

There are some nice resources on LDS.org for doing FHE that I hadn't realized were there before. Of course, there's the main FHE section, but they've also got that Gospel Art Picture Kit on there for printing out. That's pretty cool, although my printer won't take on that sort of stuff. They also have an impressive collection of First Presidency Statements on why we should do FHE, some dating back to 1905. I didn't realize that FHE had been around for that long!

As for Joseph in Egypt, well, I'm still working on pieces. I found a coloring sheet that I cut up and used for some characters, although it looses most of the detail in the translation to felt. This is a "blank" template I made for all those men in the Bible. I think I'll probably make a few more "blanks," so I've got some variety in the poses. But it is going considerably faster now that I've got this guy.

07 October 2007

Sunday Scripture 4

The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom;
and before honour is humility.
-Proverbs 15:33

The Moon is Lost!

Or else I am, lol! I've been looking and looking, and even when there aren't many clouds I seem to be lunarly challenged. It's a bummer. But there's no way I'm getting up at 3am or even 5am to find the moon in the dark sky. It's supposed to be 14% illuminated tonight, so the New Moon is coming very soon. Not to mention the 3 days of rain Andy says is in the forecast. At least then I won't have to feel bad about loosing the Moon. Who does that anyway? Loosing the Moon.

03 October 2007

Poor Little Sausage!

Tell me, if bedtime is at 11pm (Andy works 2nd shift), how late do you think the last nap should go? Monkey wants to be taking a nap around 8 these days, and it makes me worry about the quality of sleep the family's going to get at say, 3am.

What about when he's teething & the Tylenol acts like a sleeping elixer in that I give it to him and within 30 minutes he's passed out from an excess of relief from those nasty TEETH? Poor little sausage!

02 October 2007

Phases of the Moon: Day 6

Still cloudy. In fact, the Weather Underground is predicting clouds for the next several days - Friday at least. I tried both last night and this morning to locate the moon and again couldn't even find the bright spot in the clouds that gives away where the moon is. I'll try again tonight, but I doubt that there's going to be much change: we have a pretty thick blanket of clouds out there and it's been sprinkling off and on. I may be doing this for 2 months to get the pictures that I wanted to get!

Today I headed over to Nasa.gov for my moon education. I found some really cool pictures - there's one of the Jupiter, Earth, and the Moon taken from Mars - they have a drawing of how the planets were lined up for them to get that one and everything. I think that the neatest thing here is that the Earth is at quarter phase!

Also interesting, it looks like they're planning to do more expeditions to the Moon - and set up housekeeping! They've got some pretty cool concept drawings for Moon Cars that have space suits attached to the outside, so the astronauts could go from their cozy little car, hop into a space suit, and walk around a bit to do what astronauts do on the Moon, and then reattach the suits to the car, crawl out, and keep on driving. Pretty exciting.

The last thing that I'm going to post for this today is this really interesting video taken by the Ranger 9 in 1965 as it was purposefully crashed into the moon. They've got a lot of the pictures it took worked into a video so you can see what it looks like to dive toward the moon. You can see the mountains in the middle of the craters and everything! Give it a minute to load, then the picture on the left starts moving.

01 October 2007


Monkey's still too young to appreciate them, but as he's a BOY, I'm sure that he'll eventually be waaaay more intimate with bugs than what I prefer to be. It seems to be the way of boys.

Anyway, I joined yet another Yahoo Group this afternoon, (I was looking for one that I used to be a member of, but left, and now I want back in & I'm having trouble finding it...) and one of the first messages I looked at had a link to this cool BUG site. I thought some of you with bigger kids might like to know about it.

The Entomological Foundation and their free education materials. Looks cool. Would likely be all sorts of useful for nature study, did I care to study BUGS. But I don't. I'll save that for when the Monkey wants to do it. I like birds, which eat BUGS for lunch. When they're not eating my birdseed.


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