Saturday, January 31, 2009

Great White Concert

Rinar and I were busy working on some home improvement projects this afternoon when we got a call from his brother Lyf. They were heading down to Vegas to see Great White in concert. And you know me, being the music connoisseur that I am, said "Who?"

We decided to go with them. It was...hmmm...interesting. After about 4 songs I decided that I really needed some lemonade and a piece of pizza and a chair.

I guess it was all of the swearing, misogynistic comments, misogynistic music, and general icky convulsing feeling that really made me realize how appealing the lemonade was for me.

It is kind of disgusting and childish to see a man who is almost 60 with saggy tattooed skin, prancing around a stage, thinking he is God's gift to humanity; someone who has demonstrated no self-control over his appetites and thinks it is funny to brag about all of his pathetically bad behavior to a bunch of drunk 80's wannabes.

(Sorry Lyf)

This night out on the town has again reminded me how important it is to stand in holy places.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Many Subjects We Learn

I have now had two very successful school days with my kids. My kids are really starting to get it and I can see the fruits of my labors. I am starting to see that I have been able to cover a lot of material with them.

We are almost through the first year of our grammar book. Today we learned the definition of a sentence.

Spelling keeps moving along and I must have given Zach 20 words; he didn't miss a single one. I thought he would get stumped on 'through' and I told him he would, but he gave me a little grin and proceeded to spell it quickly and correctly. But even better than that, Raef's spelling list was about 12 words and he only missed two. It was really great. In addition, the words he misspelled, were done in a correct way. I mean, he followed the phonetics rules, even though it was misspelled. For example, he spelled school...skool. You see what I mean?

We have now gotten to ancient Greece in our history unit and I am stoked! I have never been one who has cared much for the Egypt, Syria, Babylonia stuff. It's just not very interesting to me. Greece is when things really pick up.

We read from Mary Pope Osbourne's version of the Odyssey. It is a great way to ease the kids into Greek Mythology. They loved it and especially liked the part where Odysseus poked out the Cyclops' eye and escaped by tying themselves underneath a flock of sheep.

We also read about Pythagoras in Mathematicians Are People, Too. It is a gem of a book. I think Raef and Zach were so grateful it counted as their math unit and that they didn't have to do a worksheet. The story went perfectly with the Greek theme.

I think I am going to spend a lot of time in the Greek section.

At the homeschool co-op we are in, I am teaching an Astronomy class to my kids and other kids about the same age. It is becoming more abundantly clear to me how important it is for my children to know about Greek mythology. There are so many things in academia that are based on the stories of Greek gods and goddesses.

Therefore, we made a stop at the library today and I checked out a whole lot of books on Greece and Astronomy.

The kids are loving astronomy. I taught them about constellations, the moon, and the sun for the last three classes. I am hoping that we will be able to go and see some constellations this weekend. It requires a little bit of driving because the lights of Las Vegas are too bright to see anything really good.

The kids are learning a lot of things. I think 7 is going to be a great age for new discoveries.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The "Hold You...Psych!" Game

Eli's first game that he loves to play...

video

Rinar's Half Marathon


Rinar ran the Painter's Half Marathon in St. George last Saturday, the 17th. He did a great job and was able to break the 2 hour mark, with a time of 1:57:02. This is him before the race with Eli. It was really cold. I was going to stay and watch him start, but Eli had other ideas.

I came back a little later and saw him pass the 3-mile mark.

Here he is at mile 12. He was not as happy at this point in the race. I ran the next 3/4 mile with him and helped him along. I think he was very happy to be done.

His Mom and brother Lyf came to cheer him on. Lyf brought his entire family. It was a lot of fun to have them all there.

Twins Can Party!









Raef and Zach turned 7 on January 15th. I didn't have a clue what I was going to do for them for their birthdays. So, a few days before the big day I decided to just throw them a party at the park. I checked the weather and it was supposed to be beautiful, and it was. I sent out a mass email to all church friends, posted notices on my Yahoo Homeschool groups, and put it on Facebook.

The result?

There must have been at least 30-40 people there. It was amazing. I got two cakes at Sam's Club, no baking required, bought a ton of candy and was ready to go. I didn't decorate anything or do any extra floofy stuff. I just set out the smorgasbord of candy, a candy buffet for the kids, and as soon as my kids got there, we sang and cut the cake.

It was a surprise party. Melanie brought the boys over and we were there waiting for them. They just said, "Hi, Mom" and kept running around the park with their friends.

It was a huge success.

I think planning is way over-rated.

My Little Brother


We brought Jamie home with us when we drove home from Tucson. He stayed a little over a week and spoke in Sacrament meeting. Everyone was very impressed with his strong testimony and wonderful talk about the Plan of Salvation. It is wonderful to see a young man return from a two-year mission. He did a lot of growing while he was gone.

The boys just had a ball spending time with him. Jamie likes to call Zach a silly-billy and this has been going on since before he left for his mission. The conversation continued when he got back.

"Your a silly-billy."

"No, your a silly-billy."

etc. etc. etc.

They did a lot of wrestling and monkeying around. I am very blessed to have such a wonderful little brother.

A Friendly Zach Visit


Zach made a friendly visit to our neighbors house a few days ago. I had no idea this happened but Rich told us all about the conversation he had with my son.

Zach knocked on his door and said, "I have the fastest bike ever."

"Wow, Zach. That's amazing." Rich replied.

"It is the fastest in the neighborhood and I can ride so good. Do you want to see my bike?"

Rich came outside and admired the awesome bike for a minute.

"Well, I am going to go ride my bike around. See you."

He then promptly left to go show the neighborhood how cool and fast his bike was.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Am I a Pirate?

Well, to go along with the whole "walking into walls" theme in my life right now, this morning I sprained my ankle.

You may be very shocked to learn that Graceful is NOT my middle name.

I decided to start my week off right. I woke up at 6:30 this morning and went for a run. I chose to run a 3.5 mile course around the neighborhood. After about 1/2 mile, I realized my iPod had become detached from my waistband and I was in the process of retrieving it and putting it back into place, when my foot made a direct hit on rock that had wandered out onto the road. I do believe it was the only rock on the entire street. Hence, since I was not looking at the road my foot really didn't stand a chance.

If this was Act Like a Pirate Day, I would fit right in today.

I wish my timing was better.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Seven Years of Marvelous Adventures

Seven years ago today, I gave birth to two beautiful baby boys. Oh, how little they were. Raef came out first at 7:30pm, weighing 5lbs. 8oz. Zach quickly followed 2 minutes later at 4lbs. 6oz.

What a beautiful, wonderful, marvelous journey it has been. We prayed for many years that they would come into our lives. The Lord heard our prayers and they were answered, abundantly.


Raef, I don't think I have ever seen a child with a sweeter spirit than you. You are so kind and loving and thoughtful. Your heart is made of gold. Oh, how we have laughed together and played together. You have such a wonderful curiosity and you ask the best questions. You are a good friend to many kids and are so very gentle. I love you. How did you grow up so fast?



Zach, my little Zach: such a thinker. You are a smart kid who loves to excel at everything you do. You work hard and love to share all the things you have learned. Sometimes you just need to be by yourself, reading a good book. You are such a nice, fun kid, but you can be tough as nails...and you say the funniest things. I love the little moments we have shared and how you will just come and cuddle with me for no reason at all. What will you be when you grow up? I am excited to watch you bloom.





Tuesday, January 13, 2009

For That Febrezey Style...

My twins have recently taken more interest in their coifs. It lends itself to some very interesting hairdos. It is mostly spiky and plastered. And since they love doing their own hair, it is only natural that they should share their joy with their baby brother.

As we were frantically leaving the house to go to violin lessons, I noticed an unusually hyper-pleasant smell emanating from Eli's head.

Was it the "hairspray"?

Why yes, it was...

I'm a Coupon Girl Now

I am officially hooked, okay?

I just did my first foray into the serious coupon world. I have wanted to do it, but just have not made the time to make it happen. Then a few days ago, my friend Melanie was at my house and called my other friend Jen on her cell phone. They were palpitating like 12 year old girls at a New Kids On The Block concert, talking about how much money they had saved from their weekly shopping trip using coupons.

I realized that I really needed to get on the bandwagon.

Tonight was my night and I saved a TON of money and got great items for my food storage. I haven't calculated total savings, but it was at least 65-70%.

My husband was less than thrilled with all the time I spent working on it tonight. I mean, I did get home at 11:00pm, and there was a lot of stuff with fiber in it, that he will probably never eat. But then he noticed the Fiber One chewy bars that I bought for 50 cents per box. The manager in Albuquerque is always eating them, and Rinar was very impressed. He really started to perk up at all of my spoils and is going to take a few boxes and the receipt to New Mexico to show Jamison the awesome price. For the record, Fiber One bars usually cost $3.79/box.

I didn't take a picture of this, but I am going to link you to my mentor and you can see the picture she took. My spoils are very similar to hers. Unfortunately, I missed out on all the diapers and the Gogurts. I think you have to get there early for those.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Santa Doesn't Believe in Christmas

A few weeks before Christmas I thought it would be a great idea to have the kids write a letter to Santa. It was a great excuse for making them do a writing exercise that was actually fun.

On a whim, I looked up Santa's address. And there was an address and it was for Santa. However, I just wasn't aware that Santa doesn't believe in Christmas.

What?!?!? Santa doesn't believe in Christmas?

Seriously, yes. Apparently he doesn't.

Why have I come to this conclusion, you might ask?

Well, today Raef got a letter from the North Pole. It has the usual elf and Mrs. Claus narrative. Thank goodness they are married still, and you can still address her as Mrs. and not as Ms. I guess that is not politically incorrect...yet.

You know, they are making toys and staying busy and all of that stuff. And Santa does wish Raef a very nice holiday, but not a Merry Christmas. I guess he doesn't believe in Christmas, although I was always under the impression that Santa and Christmas were synonymous.

But this is the part that really piqued my interest...

You know, when I'm traveling in my sleigh on Christmas Eve, I'm always amazed by how beautiful our planet is and how much I wish to protect it. Mrs. Claus always packs my cookies in my favourite reusable lunch bag for my long trip around the world. She knows how much I love her cookies!

Well, it is time for me to check in on the Elves. I hope you have a very nice holiday and please write to me again next year!

Your jolly friend,
Santa Claus

Apparently, I have had it all wrong this whole time. I have been misled by the specious argument that the eco-friendly light bulbs that adorn every corner of my house, the hybrid- electric-vegetable oil fueled car I drive, and all the carbon credits I have been saving up were going to save the planet. It is all wrong.

I just need to pack my cookies in my favourite reusable lunch bag. That is the really ticket to avoiding the apocalypse.

Darn it. I guess I will just go back to driving my not-so-evil SUV, filled with reusable lunch bags of course.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Rinar's Lyf on Vacation




When you don't have to work for two weeks, why bother shaving...right?

After two days of not shaving, I told Rinar he should just grow a beard to see what it looks like. And now we all know. Boy, he sure is devilishly handsome.

He shaved on Sunday, the night before he returned to work.


What do you think? Does he look like a guy who could have been on Miami Vice? hmmmm...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sugar Bowl is Sweet!

We just got back last night from a wonderful jaunt to the deep South. And it was great! We were decked out in all of our Utah gear, to cheer on our college football team as they were matched up with SEC powerhouse Alabama for the Sugar Bowl. It is a prestigious bowl game, and Utah got the invite because they executed a perfect season. It doesn't happen very often, so we had to make the trip. The game did not start until 7:15 pm on Friday, January 2nd. We flew in the night before and therefore had all day to do some sightseeing.

This is Dr. Ludlow and his son-in-law Mark. We met up with them the night we got into town. Mark was in our married-student ward in Salt Lake and is wife and I are friends as well. I even worked for her Dad, a dentist in town, for a little while. It was great to be able to spend a few hours with them.This is Jackson Square in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. St. Louis Cathedral is in the background.

The building to the left of the cathedral is where they signed the Louisiana Purchase. Rinar is standing in the room where it happened, leaning on a replica chair.

I think America got a really good bargain from the French for the Louisian Purchase, or it would appear so from my calculations. We American's know how to drive a hard bargain, huh? Good ole Jefferson and Seward.

After a lot of walking (and I mean a lot), we finally made it over to the Superdome. We had walked down Bourbon street about 4 times (because we kept getting lost) and it was about four times too many. We also caught a cable car to see the old houses, and it was way too crowded to do that, as I think every other Utah and Alabama fan did the same thing as us. I felt bad for the locals who actually had somewhere they needed to go. Nevertheless, we made it to our ultimate destination...

There was a Fan Jam before the game and we putzed around while we waited for the stadium to open. Here I am in a picture with Jamal Anderson, a Utah alum and NFL stand-out for the Atlanta Falcons. He autographed a picture for me and if you want to see it and touch it in person, call me to make an appointment.

We always get one of these pictures when we are at a big game.

Do you like my feathers? They are white and red, of course.

Look how big Alabama's band was? Our band was about 70% smaller. We looked like a high school band. I hope we didn't sound like a high school band. They played with their backs to us so I didn't have a clue what it was coming out of those horns.

Now for a rant...

The SEC is the epitome of football snobbery. These people think they are the only people in the world who can play football. They strut around in their fan gear, with the pins, and the hats, and the traditions constantly making snide remarks like, "What's a Ute anyways?" I would always yell back, "It's an Indian!" They didn't ask because they wanted to know, they just wanted to make sure to remind all of us Utes that we didn't belong on the holy BCS bowl ground. The ESPN polls before the game had Alabama favored 89% and the odds in Vegas were 10-1 against Utah. But more importantly, it is the expectation that in order for us piddly little school to enter the Mastah's house and grovel at his lousy feet, we have to be absolutely perfect. And even when we do accomplish perfection, it is still not enough. Forget the fact that one of the worst teams in our league, Wyoming, absolutley whalloped mighty Tennessee ... at Tennessee.

Yet, the Mountain West Conference is relegated to the slave quarters and can only hope to get the scraps from the BCS table. It makes me want to yack.

Utah has the longest winning streak in the country, in a conference that annihilated the PAC-10, and has not lost a bowl game in 8 tries. Yet, everytime we go to a bowl, we have the burden of proving ourselves to the sports world. It is ridiculous.

I officially declare that Utah no longer has anything to prove to anybody...

And this is why...


That's right. And all those Alabama die-hards started leaving the stadium in droves even before it was locked up. They still had time and chances to win the game, and yet the Alabama "faithful" didn't stick it out with their team. It was a sorry state of affairs. No matter what, I would have stayed with my team to the end.

But, that is all hypothetical. Utah was awesome...they dominated a team that was ranked #1 in the country all season long until the very last game. I firmly believe that Utah should be the #1 team in the nation. The Utes were unstoppable.

I just loved this sign.

As we made our way back to the Bourbon street area, once again I heard some Alabama person shout out, "What's a Ute anyway?". Lady, the answer is, "It is an undefeated indian!".

**Rant officially over**

So, yesterday we flew home and had to lay-over in Houston. Look who rode home on the plane with us...



Yes, it was Brian Johnson, MVP quarterback for the 2009 Sugar Bowl Champion Utah Utes.

Don't you love all of my chins?

New Year's Eve Journey

It was a long drive home from Tucson to our house. But we broke it up by staying at Heather's house the night before the big drive. Then we took Heather and Jamie back with us so that Heather could watch our kids while we went to New Orleans for a few days. We stopped at a Subway on the edge of town and fueled up our tummies before we hit the road.

We also had to get some pictures, too.




Poor Eli was stuck in that darn car seat for many hours. Heather entertained him with a water bottle. He really enjoyed it. Take a look...

videoWe got home in time to celebrate New Year's Eve with a tradition from my family: banana splits. Heather and Rinar bought the supplies at the grocery store and when the came home they were wearing silly hats and blowing those annoying little horns. It was a lot of fun.

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