Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Eve and the Ruly Mob

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . cleaning house with my family. It sounds counter-intuitive, but I feel happy and united when we're working together.

. . . trick-or-treating at Pink Grandma's house. The adults all waited inside rooms along the hallway, and when when Joy knocked and said "trick-or-treat!" we opened our door and let her choose a piece of candy. Joy loved it, but the concept went right over Daniel's head until Daddy helped him. Just wait until next year.

. . . reading about Jon Stewart's D.C. Rally to Restore Sanity. Much of the rally was humorous, but Stewart also made the serious observation that "if we amplify everything, we hear nothing." I like the principle of standing up for civility and dialogue rather than divisive, hyperbolic demonizing that characterizes so much of American politics and news.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Leia's Belt and My Snooze Alarm

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . having a bunch of people recognize me as Princess Leia at the ward Trunk-or-Treat activity. My white dress and braided, non-cinnamon bun hair didn't really look much like Leia's, but somehow the belt I made out of posterboard, paper, and foil allowed people to identify me instantly. Funny--they probably never took a close look at Leia's belt in their lives (I sure didn't until I tried to replicate it), but somehow they just knew who it belonged to. :)

. . . seeing a few of the kids from the ward donate some of their treats for our troops. You can donate candy to Operation Gratitude, and they will ship it to US troops overseas who really appreciate the sweet reminders of home and holidays. I was proud of the kids for sharing their bounty.

. . . Joy agreeing to let me sleep ten extra minutes this morning.

Not-so-favorite moment:

. . . Joy watching me like a vulture as the ten minutes ticked away, then dogpiling me when the time was up. Mmmph.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Frozen Yogurt

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Menchies frozen yogurt with my family. Pumpkin pie yogurt + graham cracker crumbs = yum!

. . . kissing Daniel's chubby toddler cheeks.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . reading some of my old Calvin & Hobbes comic strip collections with Joy. I thought she'd find them boring, but we read half the book until my voice started giving out. Ah, Calvin--I relate to your parents so much better than I did fifteen years ago.

. . . reading one of the rare interviews with C&H artist Bill Watterson in 2005, ten years after he chose to stop drawing comics. Fans from around the world submitted questions for him, and he answered 15 of them. It's interesting which questions he dodged or parried, and which he embraced.

Not-so-favorite moment:

. . .you really don't want to know. There are some aspects of parenting I enjoy soooo much more than others.

Not So Fast

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . fasting for someone I care about.

Not-so-favorite moment:

. . .whilst observing said fast, resisting the temptation to help my kids eat the ceiling of our haunted mansion (constructed of chocolate graham crackers, cream cheese frosting, and candy during home evening last night).

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sounds Fishy

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . checking out the Science Center's aquarium with my family and a bunch of missionaries on their P-Day.

. . . rubbing my husband's back after he'd had a rough day. It's nice to be able to do something to help, even if I can't take the problem away.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . a really uplifting lesson about priesthood blessings. It strengthened my faith that God is truly mindful of us, and that even when our prayers are answered with a "no," it is done out of His love and intimate knowledge of what will bless us most.

. . . sharing popcorn with four generations of relatives. There's something about just being together that draws us closer to each other.

Not-so-favorite moment:

. . . my tired, cranky daughter telling me she's going to cry until Tuesday.

Too Much of a Good Thing

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . finally making a really good calzone.

Not-so-favorite moment:

. . . eating way too much of said calzone.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . playing "Tickle the Boomerang" with Joy until she laughed so much that she started hiccuping.
Step 1: I tickle Joy.
Step 2: Joy runs away giggling.
Step 3: Joy comes back for more.
Repeat until hiccups commence.

. . . watching boomerang videos on Youtube so Joy would know what on Earth a boomerang was.

Not-so-favorite moment:

. . . discovering that the mysterious white pellets around our home and car had escaped from a stuffed animal with a hole in its leg.

Working Dough and the System

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Joy's impish smile when she got out of bed to use the bathroom . . . for the third time.

. . . looking through some recent photos of fun times and smiling kids.

. . . savoring the return of baking weather.

. . . Posh Potatoes for dinner.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Snakes and Silliness

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . substituting a cup of whole wheat flour for one of the cups of white flour in my pumpkin cookie recipe, and finding that the result tastes just as good as the regular version. Since they're healthy cookies I can eat more of them, right?

. . . listening to a hilarious NPR interview with an artist who got bored, devoted a website to his doodles of almost naked animals, and consequently got offered a job with Disney.

. . . halfway through the interview, hearing Joy (who always finds it unsettling when I laugh at something she doesn't understand) shout, "When can we get out of the car? I don't like these funny things!"

And another thing . . .

. . . even as we rapidly approach November's election, I find that few subjects are more polarizing than pet snakes. Whenever it comes up that I own a legless, scaly vertebrate, I invariably get one of two reactions: the person either thinks it's cool and they want to know more, or they shudder and change the subject. I freely talk about religion, and occasionally about politics, but I tend avoid the subject of my pet corn snake.

Yes, I'm a Geek

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . this (courtesy of Freaking News; you find the darnedest things with Google):

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chicken in the Corn

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . helping Daniel run down a hill over and over again.

. . . Phillip's cookie bars. The cookies are tasty, but I could eat half the dough with a spoon.

. . . finding my way out of a corn maze. Don't be too impressed--after a few twists and turns I just doubled back and went out the way I came in. If I'd been on my own or with other adults I might have kept searching for the real exit, but since I had the kids with me I thought it unwise to spend an hour or two wandering through a corn field. Respect naptime.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Solemn Assembly

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Daniel running up to give me a hug.

. . . Joy wanting to sit on my lap when we had dinner at a friend's home.

. . . eating delicious chowder.

. . . coming in out of the cold, and walking on warm carpet in bare feet.

. . . attending the annual devotional for temple workers (and their spouses) in the LA Temple solemn assembly room. Meetings I have attended in that room have been among the most spiritual experiences of my life, and tonight was no exception. As I listened to the beautiful music and the inspiring words of an apostle of God, I felt such peace, happiness, and love for my sweet, good husband.* We closed with the hymn “Redeemer of Israel,” and as we sang “the hour of redemption is here” I felt deep gratitude for our Savior.

*Galatians 5:22 lists love as a fruit of the Spirit, and I have found that to be literally true. My love for my husband is always fullest when we are in the temple or some other sacred context where the Spirit is strongly present. I feel greater love for others, too, but for him most of all.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . going to the park with my kids and seeing a couple artists painting some nearby homes. I particularly liked the watercolor.

. . . Phillip coming home after being away a few days. I've missed him.

. . . attending stake conference tonight with my husband. Spiritual experiences are even sweeter when I get to share them with him.

. . . this quote: "You can't ponder if you don't have questions." (Elder Robbins in stake conference tonight). Too often I open the scriptures looking for answers without bothering to form any questions first.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Ten Little Daniel Toes

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . hugging my sweetie.

. . . counting Daniel's toes.

Be What You Want to Become

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . eating raspberries in vanilla yogurt.

. . . hearing Phillip's voice on the phone - I miss him when he's out of town.

. . . this quote: "We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day." (Elder Richard G. Scott, Oct '10 Conf. talk on character). It's a rather empowering thought.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Firefighters Are Cool

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . touring the local fire station with Joy's preschool group and learning lots of interesting things.

. . . watching Joy have a great time playing with a friend at the park.

. . . making a good smoothie.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Slides and Witch Hats

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . helping Daniel learn to go down the slide on his own.

. . . hearing lots of people say how much they liked the super-easy witch hat cookies I brought to class.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Dragons Said They Were Wild About Red

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . keeping Daniel in fits of giggles while I hid a ball under two of his stacking cups.

. . . reading The Color Wizard to Joy over and over - it has simple yet lovely illustrations.

. . . Daddy squeezing my hand at prayer time.

Not-so-favorite moment:

. . . trying to do yoga while Daniel pulled my hair.

Ten Ten Ten

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . watching Joy giving her first prayer in Sunday school (with a little help from Daddy).

. . . hearing Daniel giggle when Daddy tickled him.

. . . thinking of my dear friend getting married in Hawaii today. I hope it was a joyous day, the first of many more to come.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I Heart Menchie's

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . enjoying Menchie's frozen yogurt with my family. Twice. Ironically, my favorite combo on today's menu involved not yogurt but sorbet: ginger lemonade sorbet swirled with raspberry pomegranate sorbet. Mmmmm. No toppings - I take mine straight.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Useful Women Unite

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . reading Shanna Swendson's thoughts on "The Sad Literary Fate of Useful Women." I couldn't help thinking of The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. It was a thrilling mystery, but didn't work for me as a romance. What did he see in Laura, anyway? Marian rocks.

Baby Beluga and Three Cups of Tea

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . reading to Daniel. He's into Baby Beluga these days.

. . . the monthly book group meeting. As usual, we had a lively discussion (sometimes on topic, sometimes not). Since I hosted, I get to pick the book for next month. I chose Three Cups of Tea, partly on STM's recommendation, and partly because I'd like to see a kinder, gentler side of Islam. I'm sure there are many normal, decent Muslims in this wide world, but all you ever see on the news are jihadists, politicians with an agenda, angry people reacting to the latest bombing, etc. I suspect that they no more represent Islam than the guy who recently threatened to burn Korans represents Christianity, but it would be nice to ground that assumption in stories of real people, not just my belief in the general goodness of humanity. I hope Mortenson's book will reinforce that belief.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Thank You, Umbrella Lady

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . my one-year-old unlocking the library bathroom door a mere two minutes after he locked himself in.

. . . a nice woman sharing her big umbrella with us when it started raining.

. . . randomly discovering this quote on the internet: "It's all fun and games until someone marries their avatar."

Spam Surprise

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . cooking a food storage meal that actually tasted good.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Thanks, Sweetie

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . hearing our daughter pray for her daddy to come home safely.

. . . talking with my husband about Conference.

. . . my husband drying dishes so it wouldn't take me all night to hand-wash them (our washer is broken--long story).

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Conference Weekend

This weekend's favorite moments included . . .

. . . cinnamon cake.

. . . cool mountain weather.

. . . baking bread.

. . . President Uchtdorf's airplane comment. :)

. . . hearing the inspiring words of modern-prophets and apostles. It was good to be reminded of the divine power and guidance available to all of us if we will only seek it and live worthy of it.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Mmm, Curry . . .

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . standing a little straighter after a visit to the chiropractor.

. . . making a delicious Thai dish with red curry and coconut milk, and savoring the aroma for hours afterward.