Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Cheerios, Chocolate, and Cochinita Pibil

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . .  eating way, way too many sweets today.  "Death by chocolate" sounds so blissfully indulgent until you actually attempt it.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . waking up to the sound of Joy getting little Anna some Cheerios to eat.  I'm really proud of Joy for taking care of her little sister without even being asked.

. . . my family getting excited about the gifts I gave them.

. . . talking with my brother Andrew, who's in town for the holidays.

. . . looking through a cookbook Phillip gave me for Christmas.  It has recipes from a region where he served as a missionary, and though I can't imagine what some of the ingredients taste like, I'm looking forward to trying the recipes (including the cochinita pibil).  I wonder if the local Latin markets carry banana leaves and epazote?

. . . finally learning (courtesy of Phillip) how to crack a pecan and get it out of its shell without turning the fragile nut into nut-crumbs.

. . . noting that Blogger's best spell-check suggestion for "epazote" is "newspaper."   Oh, Blogger.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Eve Carols

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . singing beautiful Christmas carols with Pink Grandma and Aunt Laura.  I even got to sing a couple a capella numbers with my kids when they asked to sing the Christmas songs from Daniel's preschool program.

. . . the big kids dressing up as Mary and Joseph to act out the nativity story.  They looked so sweet.

. . . Anna crawling eagerly to Pink Grandma to get scooped up and cuddled.

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Birthday Ride and Festive Francesco

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Joy recounting a story she heard in school in which Santa considers what animals should pull his sleigh.  He tries ducks and a few other animals before settling on reindeer.  He's planning to try butterflies next year.

. . . Joy announcing her happy discovery that Francesco Bernoulli's patriotic Italian paint job uses Christmas colors.

. . . celebrating Phillip's birthday by going on our first motorcycle ride together, eating delicious Indian food at one of our favorite restaurants, buying a few goodies at a local bakery, and watching a Star Wars movie while eating homemade kettle corn.  Happy birthday, Sweetheart. :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Jogging, Dancing, Done

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . dancing to Christmas music with Daniel and Anna.

. . . getting my Christmas shopping done.

And another thing . . .

. . . as I hurried out to my car this evening to run seven different errands after the  kids were in bed, I suddenly grasped (for the first time in my life) why some people might actually enjoy jogging.  I've never understood why people would repeatedly exhaust their bodies just to get right back where they started from, but tonight I realized that it might be because jogging is simple and achievable in a complex and uncertain world.

The road to your other life goals (e.g. romance, career advancement, good parenting) may be confusing, maddeningly slow, and devoid of guarantees, but the process of running a mile is very straightforward and you can do it as fast as you're willing and able.  It's refreshingly simple, and you're guaranteed success as long as you just keep going.

This is not to say that I have any plan to take up jogging (aside from running to the car or the laundry room because it just feels good to do something fast now and then), but I can understand why a person might say, "Life is making me crazy; I need to go run a few miles."

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Carol and a Lion

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . cooking a quick dinner while poor Anna cried because she really, really wanted me to pick her up.  I'm sorry, Baby--there are some things I just can't do one-handed.

. . . glancing in the mirror and noting that Anna's runny nose had made contact with my black shirt at least nine times.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . the big kids singing a Christmas carol together.

. . . snuggling with sweet Anna.

. . . smelling bread baking.

. . . Phillip giving me a hug.  I love husband hugs.

. . . reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe with Joy at bedtime.  It really is a magical, lovely book, and I'm glad she's enjoying it.  She even reads ahead during the day to see what happens next.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Lights and Music

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . .  trying to keep my sanity in the grocery store with three energetic kids.  I really must remember to go when Joy's in school.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . making up little ditties for Anna and Daniel as we walked toward Joy's classroom this afternoon.  I usually just take a familiar tune, and add my own phrases depending one which children are with me, and what we're doing.  Today the tune was "Are You Sleeping, Brother John?" and the words went something like this:

"Here comes Anna
Sweet girl Anna
  To get Joy
  With Daniel Boy
Time to pick up Sister
Goodness how we've missed her
  Walkin' along
  Singin' a song"

No one's going to nominate me for national poet laureate any time soon, but Anna doesn't mind.

. . . strolling the Los Angeles Temple grounds, which are decorated with thousands of Christmas lights for the holiday season.  I appreciate the lights a lot more now that I'm seeing them through my children's eyes.  The grounds were a wonderland to them, and they would have played there happily for hours.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Scary Goal and Fine Print

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . .  looking up a recent post on my blog and discovering (as you, gentle reader, are no doubt aware), that some technological quirk in Blogger has rendered parts of some posts in very tiny script.  Grrrr.  Fortunately I know just enough about HTML to go back and fix those errors (I found them in about a dozen posts over the last few months).  Hopefully I got them all.  At any rate, I guess I better preview future posts before hitting "Publish."

. . . previewing this post and finding a whole paragraph rendered in that dang tiny script.  Apparently Blogger no likey when I past text into a post from Word.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . sharing a short but inspiring video about Christ's birth with the Primary kids today.   My favorite part was when the Savior hugged someone who obviously needed comfort.  It reminded me that Christ loves me immensely despite my flaws, and He loves everyone enough to help and encourage them when they need it.  May I remember and follow His example more.

And another thing . . .

. . . This afternoon I sat in the back of the Primary room reflecting on potential goals for the coming year. I’m considering a goal to set and stick to a budget, and setting twelve preparedness goals (one for each month, such as “conduct a family emergency drill” and “identify local ham repeaters we can use”), but those seem very temporal, and removed from my character and personal relationships which are so much more important. I've been wondering what concrete goal I might set in that area of my life, and there in the Primary room the answer suddenly came to me: I need to set the goal to get enough sleep.

The idea was perfect, yet somehow terrifying at the same time.  Consistently getting to sleep by midnight would help immensely with my effort to be more patient, kind, spiritually sensitive, and generally happy, yet I know from experience that it would be very challenging for me, and easy to fall off the wagon even if I do manage to climb aboard.  Still, it makes sense and feels like the right direction to go.  I have two weeks to practice before the new year begins—wish me luck.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Birthday Surviver

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Phillip letting me sleep in, and vacuuming the front rooms to boot.  You're my hero, Honey.

. . . getting up to find that Joy had hung a bunch of our ornaments in unexpected places: on our nativity, on cupboards, on light switches.  It made for lots of fun surprises throughout the day as I would discover yet another relocated ornament.

. . . successfully hosting a birthday party for Joy.  It's our first friend party, since we have lots of family in the area and in the past she's been too young to care about having yet another party for friends.  This year she asked for one, though, and I've been really stressed about it because I'm not much of a party planner.  I kept having visions of kids staring awkwardly at me with "this is so lame" written all over their cute little faces.  Phillip assured me that it would be fine, and as long as they had sugar and other kids to play with they'd all have a great time.  He was right.

. . . playing little games with Anna and hearing her laugh.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Birthday, Soup, and Stubborn Bread

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Daniel finding the lost plastic pin that holds our tricycle together.

. . . the chocolate zucchini bread finally deigning to come out of the pan. And in one piece, no less.

. . . eating yummy soup for dinner. I love soup weather.

. . . extended family gathering at our home to celebrate Joy's birthday. It's fun to talk and laugh together, and it's always a happy thing when you see people love your kids.

Monday, December 10, 2012

O, Christmas Tree

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . .  Phillip having some mechanical issues with his new motorcycle

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . the Primary kids decorating one of their teachers as a Christmas tree.  They wrapped him in green crepe paper, taped on ornaments, and put a star headband on his head.  The chorister even brought some lights to wrap around him and plug in at the end.  The kids loved it, and the teacher was a really good sport.

. . . finally getting some posts written for our family blog.

. . . the big kids laughing as they wrestled with Daddy.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Zoo, Soup, and Angel Voices

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . seeing all the kindergartners dressed in animal costumes for "zoo day" today. Many of the girls (including my daughter) just had bunny or kitty ears on, but one kid wore a giant squid hat. Awesome.

. . . making some really good, hearty soup for dinner.

. . . hearing Phillip accompany some friends as they practiced O Holy Night for Sunday. I love that beautiful song. It has such an air of reverence, joy, and worship about it.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Pageant and the Imprudent Night Owl

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . .  feeling incredibly tired when Anna woke me up this morning because I stayed up incredibly late last night.

. . . struggling to keep the preschool kids focused.  I really need to hide the toys when it's not play time.  Of course, their favorite toys are the swiveling desk chairs, and I'm not sure how I'll manage to hide those.  They also love the bicycle pump--go fig.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . reading The Best Christmas Pageant ever.  It was surprisingly thought-provoking for a children's book that I literally finished in an hour.  It left me thinking of the Holy Family more as actual, normal people, and it reminded me that there more than one way to be a good (or bad) person.

. . . giving Daniel a big hug.

. . . talking about the book and Christmas traditions at the book group meeting tonight.

. . . eating crispy jalapeno poppers at said meeting.

. . . seeing Anna cuddle her stuffed dog when I hand it to her at bedtime.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Snow Queen and the King of Kings

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . trading kisses with the big kids under the mistletoe.  I'm surprised at how much they like that little tradition.

. . . sharing some frozen yogurt with the kids.

. . . Joy getting a kick out of the Garfield comic book she checked out from the library.  I loved Garfield as a kid, and it was fun to hear her laugh out loud, then hurry over to show me comic strips I remember from a couple decades ago.

. . . attending our ward's Relief Society Christmas activity.  The program was uplifting, and the music was absolutely lovely.  As one woman sang O Holy Night, I felt immensely grateful for Christ's unconditional love for me.  I left wanting to hug and smile at everyone.

And another thing . . .

. . . I read Hans Christian Anderson's "The Snow Queen" while the kids and I were at the library this afternoon.  The meandering tale wasn't at all what I expected, and I'm still trying to decide whether I like it or not.  Old Hans had an interesting style, both more grim and more childlike than I'm accustomed to.  They are also unabashedly Christian, despite being inhabited by witches and mermaids and the like, and it's pretty obvious that Anderson's goal was to teach children to make good choices (e.g. say your prayers, look for the good in life and people, play nice with your toys, if you truly love someone get married in a church).  I appreciate that, but I wonder how the current Disney generation of kids would respond to fairy tales where the ending isn't always happy (in the short term), and the key to ultimate joy is Christlike love, not romantic love.  I guess I could read a few to my kindergartner and find out.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Hornet Mom

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . wasting over an hour of my very limited time on a leisure activity I didn't actually enjoy very much.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . eating breakfast for dinner.  Sausage, how do I love thee?  With multigrain pancakes and orange juice, that's how.

. . . reading a mom blogger's disclaimer that, while she posts mainly about positive family times because that's what she wants to remember and share, she doesn't want to discourage other moms by giving the impression that her family is blissfully perfect (and yours is not). She insists that her kids "fight like the best of them" and (my favorite line) "I get mad as a hornet about dumb stuff." I completely relate.

In my entire adult life, I don't think I ever lost my temper until I had kids.  Now I seem to blow my top at least weekly, sometimes daily.  I'm cultivating self-control I never knew I lacked, but I'm also learning a lot about humility, love, and healing relationships.  While I'm striving to establish a home where there's lots of nurturing and no shouting, realistically the yelling may never go away completely.  And I think my kids will be OK in spite of that if, as soon as I calm down each time, I communicate to them that I was wrong, I'm sorry, and I love them.

So basically, if you want your mortal experience to be a vacation, do not have kids.  On the other hand, if you want mortality to be a growing experience where you can learn to confront your flaws, love others (and yourself) despite imperfections, and devote your existence to nurturing others like God does, absolutely have kids.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Silent Screams

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . .  feeling so stressed about Christmas, preschool,  planning Joy's birthday ('cuz she's now old enough to care about it and I'm totally not a party person), my calling at church, and lots of general mom stuff that I often want to scream and/or curl up in a fetal position on the floor.  Of course, the only way out is through, and if I can just survive the next two weeks I probably won't feel like I'm suffocating anymore.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Daniel dropping some colorful rocks off the sofa about fifty times, and laughing like it was the most hilarious thing ever.  Every single time.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Decking the Hall (We've Only Got One)

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . sleeping in while Phillip fed the kids breakfast.

. . . Anna cracking up every time I squirted her with a little toy in the bathtub.

. . . working with Phillip to get our Christmas decorations out of storage.  I love doing just about anything with him, even organizing our storage closet.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Bubbles and the Back Burner

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . .  most of today.  I really got up on the wrong side of the bed.  Here's to a better day tomorrow.

. . . having to cancel a friend's plan to watch my kids for a few hours.  I was really hoping to finally get a certain nagging task done, and it's discouraging to have it thrust to the back burner again.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . little Anna being absolutely delighted by the bubbles someone blew at the park.

. . . trying on a shirt that looked really nice on me.  I don't shop for clothes often, and I try not to base my sense of self-worth on my appearance, but every now and then it feels really great to look in the mirror and think, "Dang! I look good."

Thursday, November 29, 2012

In Which Clouds Crash My Solar Party

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . .  clouds rolling in an hour after I put something in the solar oven.  "Hey, clouds!  You weren't supposed to get here until tomorrow!  Why the rush?"

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . attending a parent/teacher conference.  Joy's doing really well in school, and she seems to enjoy it.

. . . Anna learning to drink from a cup.  I only give her about a teaspoon at a time, and it's always water, but she's totally got it down.  Maybe I'll try giving her milk or juice tomorrow.

. . . the kids and I presenting cards and flowers to a neighbor for her birthday.

. . . improvising dinner, and having it actually turn out well.

. . . playing a fun game with the big kids.

. . . the sound of rain falling outside.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Duck, Duck, Anything

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . forgetting to take a jacket along on a chilly afternoon.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . discovering a new park that the kids all loved.

. . . having some neighbor kids over.  They introduced us to a game I'll call "Duck, Duck, Anything"  where instead of saying "duck" and "goose" while you tap people's heads, you choose some random thing to say over and over, then when you tap and say a different thing that person has to chase you.  One example was "Halloween, Halloween, Halloween, 
Halloween, Halloween, Christmas!"  My favorite one was "Pirates of the Caribbean, Pirates of the Caribbean, Pirates of the Caribbean, Captain Jack Sparrow!"  I think we'll be playing "Duck, Duck, Anything" at Joy's birthday party.

. . . chatting with an old friend who was in town.

. . . snuggling with my sweetheart.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Singing Sore

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . .  getting a sore throat.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . taking a nap.

. . . watching Phillip play with little Anna in church.

. . . singing exuberantly along with a very animated Primary chorister.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Spies and Pupusas

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . .  some stranger shouting advice from her car window about how I can be a better parent.  Madam (since I'm sure you're one of the half dozen people who regularly reads my blog), please be apprised that the degree of derisive outrage with which you infuse your advice has a directly inverse relationship with my desire to heed said counsel.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . making hamburgers for dinner, at Joy's request.

. . . hugging my sweetheart.

. . . seeing Daniel grin.

. . . watering my little herb garden outside. 

. . . looking up a pupusa recipe, and discovering that they're ridiculously easy to make.  I think I may try making some tomorrow.  I've been wanting to give them a go ever since we tried them at an El Salvadorean restaurant with some friends.  The food there is delicious but it's a bit of a drive from here, and pricey when you throw in the cost of a babysitter.

And another thing . . .

. . . since viewing Cars 2, Joy has been fascinated with the idea of secret agents, and Finn McMissile in particular.  This has led to some interesting conversations:

Daniel: I don't want Joy to hold my hand.
Joy: I'm Finn.  Who's Joy?
Daniel: I'm Joy!

Me: Which way should we go, Joy?
Joy: [Turns to me with a look of exasperation because I've called her the "wrong" name yet again]
Me: I mean Finn?

Joy: Secret agents don't cry so I'm going to take a break until I've calmed down!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Turkey and Leaves

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . taking Anna for a walk and hearing the autumn leaves crunch under my feet.

. . . gathering with my family for Thanksgiving and seeing a half dozen dishes they've been serving every year since I was a child.  I love trying new recipes, but there is a certain comfort in sitting down to eat so many traditional, familiar things.

. . . talking and laughing with my family for hours.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Orzo and the Tickled Ones

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . .  dropping a bowl of cooked orzo (tiny pasta) all over the carpet.  Tons of fun to clean up, I assure you.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . my mom and sister coming over to visit.

. . . the big kids playing happily together.

. . . snuggling with Phillip on the couch.

And another thing . . .

. . . it was interesting to see how each of my children reacted when Aunt Heather started tickling them furiously.  Joy nervously retreated to the other side of the room (which is probably what I would have done), Daniel kept rushing headlong back to Heather for more tickles, and Anna sat watching with cautious fascination a few inches out of Heather’s reach.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Leaves and Cars, Too

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . seeing the fall leaves flutter to the ground every time a cool breeze rustled through the trees.  It was fun to watch Anna carving twin trails with her knees as she crawled along the leafy sidewalk.  I love getting stuff done in my little home and on my little computer, but moments like this remind me that it's important to get out into the wide world.  It feeds the soul.

. . . the big kids giving me hugs when I was feeling really frustrated this afternoon.

. . . making a little autumn art project with Joy.  It was simple, yet creative--my kind of project.

. . . watching Cars 2 with the big kids.  The film didn't get much love on Rotten Tomatoes, possibly because it wasn't as jaw-droppingly imaginative as many of Pixar's other films, but I still enjoyed it a lot and would watch it again.

. . . stargazing as I walked back from the laundry room tonight.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

An Early Feast and Multnomah Falls

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . joining Pink Grandma for an early Thanksgiving.

. . . Anna giggling like crazy about Grandma's exuberant little dog.

. . . eating pumpkin pie while we played the alphabet Thanksgiving game.

. . . pouring through a list of books to read with young kids, and daydreaming about what to introduce to my kids next.

And another thing . . .

. . . this years alphabetical list of things we're grateful for is:

Alphabet games
Hours of Primary
Ice Cream
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Multnomah Falls
Pumpkin Jack-o-lanterns
Star Wars
Ticket to Read
Zoological Fantasy by Camille Saint-Saens

Monday, November 19, 2012

Ricola and Tom

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . .  coming down with a cold.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . seeing some old friends who were visiting our ward today.

. . . reflecting on the people I'm grateful for.  There are so many of them.

. . . learning fun facts about turkeys in Primary.  For instance, mature turkeys have about 3500 feathers and can run at 25mph.  Males are called "Toms" but the females are just called "hens" (how boring--I expected something like "Jane" or "Linda").

. . . sucking on a Ricola.  It really helped my scratchy throat.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Dry Dried Flowers

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . finishing pressing some flowers right before it started to rain.

. . . getting more stuff done.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Herbs, Granola, and Solitude

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . arriving home from the grocery store and realizing I had forgotten the main item I went to buy.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . listening to the kids at Joy's school sing in their annual choral program.  They even had a live band accompanying them.  It was a lot of fun.

. . . seeing olive branches waving gracefully in the wind.

. . . Phillip taking the kids to my parents' cabin for the weekend.  Ah . . . productivity!

. . . planting some new herbs in my container garden.  I got ambitious and tried some garlic, too.  We'll see how well it does.  Of course, the bigger question is how well I will do at watering and fertilizing consistently.  My vision of my future yard definitely includes a drip irrigation system and a timer.

. . . finally getting an updated version of my cookbook ready to print and bind (and by "bind" I mean a spiral-bound job courtesy of my local Staples store).  You wouldn't think it would take so long add a few recipes and modify others, but even today's final edit took me several hours.  I'm worn out, but very glad it's done.

And another thing . . .

. . . Cathy, I know you asked for my granola recipe a while ago, and I'm sorry I haven't gotten it to you before now.  There are two reasons for the delay.  One is that I didn't have it typed up yet when you asked, and the other is that I'm not yet sure whether I consider it "THE" granola recipe or just "A" granola recipe.  It's good, but I want to try a couple others before I settle on a keeper.

Of course, there's no telling when I will have the leisure to conduct said research, so in the meantime, here's the (finally typed up) granola recipe I've been using so far:

Brown Sugar Granola

2 c rolled oats
1/4 c wheat germ
1/4 c dry milk powder or creamer
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 t salt
1/4 c cooking oil
1/4 c water
1 t vanilla extract
Add-ins such as 1/4 c raisins, peanuts, dried cranberries, etc.

Stir together first five ingredients in a mixing bowl. In a small bowl, combine oil, water, and vanilla, then stir into oat mixture. Put granola into a 9x13” pan and bake at 300 for about 24 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Remove from oven and stir one more time, then let cool three minutes and stir in any add-ins you desire. Allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Parenthood and Pecan Pie

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . going to the temple with my sweetheart, and feeling peace and joy in a place where it's somehow a lot easier to commune with God.

. . . eating pecan pie in the temple cafeteria. 

And another thing . . .

. . . as I was reflecting on my blessings in the temple today, I felt particularly grateful for God’s love and longsuffering with me. He is so patient with my recurring foibles, and I’m immensely grateful that He keeps gently reminding me what is best even though He’s already taught me those principles countless times before. I prayed that He would help me show the same love and longsuffering to my own children.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Gratitude and Laundry

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . kissing Anna's chubby baby cheeks.

. . . finally getting all those piles of laundry folded.

. . . reading what my friends are grateful for this month.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Rolls and a Hatchet

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . Anna somehow hurting her hand this afternoon.  She cried off and on for a very long time, and at first I thought it was seriously injured, but I'm grateful to say that by the end of the day she seemed fine. 

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Joy actually sampling my chicken at dinnertime, then deciding to eat two servings of it.

. . . husband hugs.

. . . chatting with neighbors.

. . . Joy helping me out and telling me I'm her buddy.  I hugged her and said she's mine, too.

. . . mixing up some roll dough to chill overnight.  It's hard to say why I love trying new recipes so much, but it really is a fun adventure for me.  And since it's autumn and I need to heat my house anyway, I might as well fire up the oven, right?

And another thing . . .

. . . to my knowledge, my youngest brother has only voluntarily read one book in his entire life.  It was The Hatchet.  When I saw it on a library shelf earlier this week, I decided to check it out and see what had captivated him so much.  It was a quick read, and I finished it tonight.  It was interesting to see what Brian did to survive, and his behavior (setting small goals, enjoying the beauty around him, not focusing on being rescued, etc.) reminded me of Deep Survival, an intriguing non-fiction book about how people survive (regardless of training or lack thereof).  I wonder how I'd manage, alone in the wilderness with just a hatchet.  Kinda makes me want to go out and buy a little flint and steel for my purse (as if that bag needs anything else to weigh it down).

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Upper Crust and Extra Flour

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . ongoing potty training issues.  Basically, Daniel is so over using the bathroom, and doesn't want to take a break from playing to go use the toilet.  Any suggestions?

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . stocking up on wheat, flour, and sugar at the local cannery.  If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.

. . . emailing the ward Relief Society sisters asking if anyone had a random tool I could borrow, and getting two positive responses.  One of the women even lives down the street from me.  Thanks, Ladies. :)

And another thing . . .

. . . for whatever reason, I decided to make a savory pie today.  I even opted to make my own pie crust, which I've only done once in my life, about ten years ago.  It was a simple enough process, but I forgot that the dough needs to chill in the fridge for about an hour.  Oops.  In the end, the crust turned out fine but the filling was uninspiring.  Live and learn.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Busy and Blessed

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . getting stuff done while Phillip took the kids on an outing this afternoon.

. . . playing a Star Wars version of Angry Birds with Phillip and Joy.

. . . looking through old journal entries that remind me of my rich blessings.

. . . cuddling Anna.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Three Kings and Aragorn

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . .  Pink Grandma coming to visit.

. . . reading Pioneer Woman's top ten lines from the film The Return of the King.

. . . playing checkers with Joy (except for the part when she burst into tears because I captured three of her kings in one move).

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Two and a Half Voters

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . Anna waking up at 6am because babies have no concept of Daylight Savings Time.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . breathing much, much easier now that my turn to teach preschool is over for a couple months.  The actual lesson is always fun, but the stress of preparation weighs on me like a boulder.

. . . going to vote with my whole family.  Daniel and Anna weren't very interested, but Joy happily cast her annual vote for poet laureate on the demonstration ballot, and I even let her ink in a few dots on my real ballot.  We both proudly wore our "I Voted" stickers for the rest of the day.

. . . nearly talking myself hoarse answering all my daughter's questions about the election and our government.

. . . eating lots of samples at Costco, and Joy summoning up the courage to dash into the fridge section with me to get some grapes.

. . . Joy and Daniel making up a kiss/freeze tag game.  You tag the other person to freeze them, then kiss them on the cheek to unfreeze them.  Sometimes my kids are so amazingly cute.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Proud to be a Purple American

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . deciding how I'll vote on propositions and such tomorrow.  It was empowering to weigh the arguments and decide what I believe is best for my community.  On the other hand,  it was rather deflating to do lots of soul-searching about the presidential race, finally reach a decision, then recall that my vote on that subject doesn't really matter since I don't live in Ohio.  I really hope we reform the electoral college system soon.

And another thing . . .

. . . to paraphrase an NPR host I heard last week, I hope that no matter what happens tomorrow, America wins.