Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Must Read Post

Now, you would think I were being a little...prideful, heading my post with this title? You would be right, if I were talking about my own writing.

I just came from Mindy's blog, where she has written a post about some of her scripture study. Her words and the scriptures she quoted has great relevance to me in my life at this time, and have touched me deeply. Please go read it. I post the link here, for all to click.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present.....Illumination.

You Asked For It...

First, an update on yesterday's post. Our electricity problems were fixed yesterday afternoon by two very brave, cold electric company workers. I'm guessing that our power line got weakened by the ice storm back in December, which caused some parts of the power line not to work. They were out there doing a bunch of stripping and splicing on a pole (That sounds kind of funny!) and on our roof while we watched from our closed glass sliding door. The boys were excited to watch their daredevil antics!

Ok, now for the "you asked for it" part. I have been nudged several times by a few of you to post more songs that I've sung. I hereby give in, and post one I sang last April. It's one of my favorites, because of the acoustic guitar that this wonderful guy Steve posted on the site. If you have a microphone and want to have fun singing karaoke, go to Singsnap.

This is Coldplay's "The Scientist".

P.S. I just realized after my husband pushed "play", that this is not "The Scientist". This is my version of "Only Hope", originally sung by Mandy Moore. It's a hauntingly beautiful song and one of my favorites!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I May Be Freezing...But I Can Blog!

I was on my computer, catching up on the things of the day when I hear a heater and the *ping* of the tv's power going off. I didn't realize the broad spectrum of what actually happened until a few minutes later.

We only have power in part of the kitchen, our computer and part of the downstairs. The refrigerator isn't working, but the oven is. The hot water should be working, because it's gas. Our furnace isn't working, but we usually heat with space heaters to save money so we all will have to sleep in the living room and block off the rest of the house if the power doesn't go on.

It doesn't look good. The fact that we still have some power means that it's not at the main. I flipped all the breakers, and still nothing in the rest of the house. That means that we have ONE heater for the entire upstairs. I'm tempted to use Princess' Dora potty seat that fits on the bigger toilet, as it's soft and much less cold. The only problem with that is I'm afraid my bottom would crack the plastic! At least now we'll know immediately when the bathroom's being occupied from the howl that will be emitted every time someone sits down on the arctic seat.

I called my husband again to let him know that the furnace wasn't working and found myself in tears while talking to him. I didn't plan that. He has this soothing way about him when I get upset, I swear he has a gift. When our daughter is crying and screaming and overtired while I'm holding her and she doesn't want to calm down to go to bed, all James has to do is hold her, talk softly and stroke her hair. She passes out almost instantly. So when I burst into tears, of course he consoled me, telling me that everything will be alright. I didn't want to cry at all, as he's at work and he doesn't need to be stressed about things at home. It did feel good, though. Relieved a little tension. I've been worrying about a lot lately.

We have two vans and a dead car in the driveway that we can't get rid of because we can't find the title. We are special, and should have our noses in the air, because we have "winter" and "summer" vans. A vehicle for every season!

The two vans both have things wrong with them. One has been having a hard time getting started because the cold was pulling the connection apart from the battery to the car. It also has an oil leak. It was free, so we've been very thankful for it! It still smells of peat moss from the previous owner, which is fun on warm days. The windows in the front don't roll down, and there's no air conditioning, but the heat works wonderfully. This is our "winter" van. We've been using it exclusively, when it runs.

Our "summer" van we bought last year, as we needed one that didn't have the problems that the other van does. The air conditioning stopped working after we got it, and filling it with freon didn't do the trick. Thankfully the windows roll down, so there is no worry of the driver passing out from heat exhaustion. I would feel a slight "bump" when I'd turn the wheel, but somehow James couldn't feel it until it got really bad. I was sure it was a cv joint, and we kept wanting to take it in to a mechanic, but kept feeling to wait. It kept getting worse and worse until it really felt unsafe to drive. We only took the chance when the "winter" van wouldn't start. Hey, the good thing about being stuck at home without transportation during the workday means it's easier for me to stick to our budget!

Last Sunday in church, one of our hometeachers gave a talk. During his talk I got the impression that we needed to ask him about a mechanic. The hometeachers were visiting that afternoon, and we found out about an honest mechanic that he recommends. James called the mechanic from work yesterday, and from what they discussed the guy recommended that James have the tires rotated first to see if that was the problem. I was pretty mad when he called and told me, because I had looked things up online and was positive it was the tie rod. I tried to be supportive and told him to do what he thought was best, but he knew I was upset. Well, he took the van to Walmart last night and had them check the tires. It turns out that the tires were too small and the steel belt was coming through on one of them. Needless to say, there was no "bump" on the way home. Yes, I did apologize to James for my attitude. So now I have a car that's safe to drive, and for some reason the heat kicked in as James was driving it home.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I could either blame Heavenly Father for the trials that we face, or thank Him for taking care of us. I would rather not have had to spend $400 on tires for the van when I know it still needs some more work done (and we had to put it on credit, but with no interest and it will be paid in May), and I would rather have more than one heater in my house and have my refrigerator working. However we could have taken the van to a mechanic who would have taken us for a ride, and we could have NO heat and NO oven and have to go to my sister's tiny house and drive her crazy.

So, I choose to be thankful. I can still cook for the family, we could probably hook up the refrigerator to an extension cord, I can drive somewhere if we need to go and be safe, and we'll have more family together time without the tv, and I have the internet! We do have the one heater working, and the lights work in the kitchen so we don't have to rely on candles. It's snowing heavily outside, the winds are blowing, it's 18 degrees outside with a 9 degree windchill, and we're at 63 degrees in here. Pretty balmy, considering. We can always hang blankets up to close off the rest of the house as the temperature drops, and we'll be snug as bugs. I just tested the lights and some of them work and flicker a bit, but the house is acting like it's not receiving enough power to power everything except on the few circuits. The lights in the laundry area work, so I'm crossing my fingers that I can do laundry.

I'm hoping that it's something to do with the amount of the electricity coming into the house, and not our house itself. If it's the wiring, we'll have to wait until we can afford to have it fixed. Until then, at least we can still cook and heat water!

I can't promise that I won't do any more complaining or crying, but right now, I choose to be thankful. It feels much, much better than whining.

The oven's on to help heat the house. Maybe I should go bake some cookies. No use wasting all that electricity!

Monday, January 28, 2008

I Would Like to Thank The Academy....

I have a new decoration on my sidebar! When I shared that tidbit from Princess the other day, I had no idea that I would win an award on Saturday. Imagine my surprise when Mindy commented on that post and mentioned that she had given me an award here. Mindy is such a sweetheart, and I thank her for passing the award on to me, which she had won and so richly deserves. She makes me feel so loved!

If you haven't yet checked her out, please do. Her blog has some deep spiritual thoughts that are so insightful. I am amazed at her wisdom. Many of her posts make me really search my soul at times, which is a good thing. Mindy makes me want to be a better person from the things she shares.

Thank you, Mindy!

P. S. Princess will be so excited when she sees the pink hearts!

In Memoriam

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Our beloved prophet, Gordon Bitner Hinckley, passed away last night at the age of 97.

Last night my sister and her husband were over, and we were getting ready to play a game. The phone rang, and James answered it. It was our hometeacher. I heard James say, "Oh, no." in the tone he uses when something really sad has happened. My heart was in my throat until he got off the phone and told us what had happened. For a minute or so there was complete silence. What was there to say? Then my brother-in-law said, "What a week. First Heath Ledger, then President Hinckley!" "That's terrible!" I said. Somehow after his comment, we were able to talk about President Hinckley for a few minutes before we started our game. I put thoughts of him out of my mind until bedtime so I could focus on spending time with my family.

It was late when we got to bed, but I still couldn't sleep. I couldn't figure out why until I started thinking about President Hinckley. James was awake too, for the same reason, I think. He listened to me talk about my memories of the prophet and how much he meant to me. President Hinckley was one of the greatest influences on me in my teen years. I always felt such love from him, every time he spoke to us. I've looked forward to his talks in General Conference since I was about 8 years old.

I was privileged to see him in person a few times in my life. When I lived in Utah, before he became the prophet he spoke at our regional conference. I remember hearing from him and his sweet wife, who passed away 3 years ago. She told a story about the sacrifices they made while President Hinckley attended college. They didn't have money for a car, so instead of going into debt or becoming a two-income family, Sister Hinckley pulled her children to the grocery store in a red wagon. I have thought many times about their sacrifice which enabled her to be with their children full-time. I don't remember President Hinckley's talk, but I do remember what he said at the end. Not word for word, but this was the gist of it. His sense of humor was one of the things I loved most about him. It was a Sunday, and he was reminding us to remember that it's the Sabbath. He said, "Now it's time to go home, but remember it's the Sabbath and not to stop at the grocery store. Just go home and see what's in your refrigerators. Although some of us may already be as big as refrigerators..." The congregation laughed heartily while he continued, Sister Hinckley looking at him. "Oh, I'd better stop now before I get in trouble," he said. Their fondness, sweetness and love for each other is something I'll remember forever.

The second time I saw him was when a lady that I most admired in our ward invited me to go see the Christmas Devotional, when I was about 14. That was a special time! She had one ticket left and I couldn't believe that she actually invited me! It was a little bittersweet because I had a huge crush on her son, and he brought his new girlfriend. I remember being so aware of them next to me, and that he had his hand on his girlfriend's knee. Even with the sting of unrequited puppy love when I was there, I remember feeling so excited to be able to see the First Presidency in person. I remember sitting there, looking at those beautiful wooden pillars that are painted to look like marble, drinking in the beauty and serenity of the tabernacle. I remember the hush when the First Presidency walked in. I remember feeling so excited to hear their voices in person. At that time the prophet was either President Benson or President Hunter. I think the prophet was too ill to speak, but Presidents Hinckley and Monson spoke about the celebration of the birth of Christ.

The third time I saw him was here in Missouri. He came to Kansas City when I was 17. There was a special regional Young Women's meeting where he came to speak to us. My two sisters and I all got to go together. I remember sitting there in the large auditorium, and the quiet that fell when he got up to speak. That alone was a feat, getting hundreds of teenage girls to be quiet all at the same time! I remember feeling his great love for us, and the concern as well. He truly and deeply cared about us. He told us many things, but one in particular stuck with me. He told us to be as good as we could be. Not to lower our standards to have someone to date, but that if we were as righteous as we could be that Heavenly Father would bless us and take care of us. I really appreciated hearing that counsel. At that time I was such a romantic. I liked dating, but I was always dreaming of finding my true love. I always tried to do the best and be the best person that I could, and my life was led 3 years later to my best friend in the whole world, my husband James.

Every General Conference I looked forward to what he had to say. We have been so lucky that our local cable channel broadcasts General Conference for us, so we can stay home and watch it on tv. We have our kids come in and listen for parts of it, and let them play for the rest of it since they're pretty young and have a hard time sitting still. I always make sure that they're there when the prophet speaks. Last October, I felt very strongly impressed that they needed to listen to President Hinckley and be reminded that he was our prophet. I brought them in and told them again who he was, and made sure they understood that they would get to hear from an actual, living prophet. Now I'm so glad that I did, and Professor remembers listening to him.

While I was laying there in bed reminiscing, I found myself crying. I was weeping not for President Hinckley, because I know that he's happier now. The thought of him reuniting with his precious wife brings tears to my eyes because they had such love for each other while here on earth. I was sad for myself and for all the members of our church because he is gone. After wiping my eyes for a bit I was able to fall asleep. I'm so thankful to know that there's life after death.

How fitting that the music playing from my children's cd right now is "We Thank Thee O God For a Prophet".

We love you, President Hinckley. You are already greatly missed.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Before I begin this, I want to make it absolutely clear that in no way, shape or form am I hinting at, trying to get, wanting sympathy for, or in any other way fishing for an award. I DO NOT NEED ONE. I just had to share this little tidbit!

I was over at Elasticwaistbandlady's blog, reading more of her older posts. She is one hilarious woman! In the middle of reading a post, Princess walks over and spies Elastic's "Nice Matters" award. Not surprising that Princess loved it, due to her love of all things girly, flowery and pink. I'm sure that the flowers stuffed in a shoe reminds her of Cinderella's lovely slipper. From the moment she wakes up It takes her no more than 2 minutes to get into a dress and her dollar-store plastic pink dress-up shoes which she clatters around in most of the day. Have I mentioned that she's two years old? Anyway, here's our conversation:

Princess: (Quick intake of breath at the lovely sight, then pointing) "Mommy, Mommy, it's so
beautiful, it's so beautiful!"
Me: (Pointing to the one I just know she's gazing at) "That one?"
Princess: (Rapturously) "Yeeesss."
Princess: "It's so beautiful!"
Me: "Yes, it is, isn't it? You love the flowers, don't you."
Princess: "Yes..."(then said in a grave voice) "Mommy, you don't have one."
Me: (Smiling wryly) "Yes honey, I sure don't."

I know that I've started blogging not that long ago, and I don't even really know how awards work. I'm just happy that there are people out there that read and comment on my posts! That's gratification enough. You guys are awesome. I just never thought my 2 year old daughter would be the first one to point out my lack of awards!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Family Night

Last night was Family Night. For any of you who are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, this is one night set aside a week to spend with our families. We learn a lesson, sometimes play games and have treats.

Last night we talked about Moses and the serpent on a staff. You know, the story where if the people looked they'd live.

Bugaboo wasn't getting it. He has a hard time understanding things unless there's music and physical activity involved. So I suggested acting out the story.

Daddy was Moses, with an upside-down broom for a staff. His bronze "serpent" was a belt hanging off the top. Professor and Bugaboo were the people who got bitten by the snakes, looked, and lived. I was the rebellious one who refused to look and "died". Princess, who was a little young to understand what to do at first, watched and yelled with the rest of us. That was, until I wouldn't look at the "snake" on the stick. She started pulling on my arm and saying, "Come ON Mommy! Wook at the snake!" She was trying to save her stubborn mommy from certain death, and couldn't understand why I wouldn't look.

Perhaps that's what Jesus was talking about when he said that we should "Become as a little child."

Sunday, January 20, 2008

2007 in Pictures

I'll bet you can't guess what I learned to do today. Yes, I learned how to get the pictures off of the camera! Here are some highlights from 2007. I wanted to put more in, but the pictures started adding up pretty quickly!

We went on a family trip to the zoo in May....

Tortoises are fun!

Daddy and the boys

This is one of my all-time favorite pics

Yes, it's a snake. Yes, she did. No, I didn't capture it.

From around the 4th of July
Swimming in the backyard pool
The yummiest trifle! Princess was sneaking a taste while I was taking the picture.

Professor's first big birthday party

Notice the flat pool in the background?
My sister made the ultra cool spider pinata.

I'm usually not this creative. Notice the animals staring from their rocks at the giant serpent!
We went on our first overnight trip without the kids for our anniversary. Here we are at the Winter Quarter's Temple.

Professor traveled many hours to get to his first BYU Cougar football game with Daddy and Grandpa!

My sister has the Halloween pics. We're skipping Halloween.

Here are the pics I promised from our ice storm in December.

Saber-toothed tree

The view from our deck

Impressive that the tree didn't collapse under the weight.

My batteries were dying, but you still get an idea of how much ice was on each tree.

My favorite ice storm picture. Undoctored. Isn't that sky gorgeous?

Costumes from our Christmas party. Professor was a wise man, and Bugaboo a shepherd. Professor's turban was an old curtain, and he wore a velvet maternity shirt of mine. Bugaboo wore another of my shirts for his robe, and another shirt tied to make his head covering. Necessity certainly is the mother of invention!
This is from this past Thursday, Bugaboo's birthday. Thankfully he was so easily pleased with his "volcano" cake. The raspberry "lava" was soooo yummy with chocolate cake! His mouth is orange, not from the reflection of his shirt, but because it's stained with spaghetti sauce from dinner.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Midnight Musings

I was over at a friend's blog, and she wrote some things that got me thinking again tonight about what I've been pondering lately. There are a lot of things I like to do, and didn't get the opportunity to pursue my dreams when I was younger. I've decided that just because I couldn't do things before I got married and had children, doesn't mean that I can't do them now. I've always had the habit of denying myself of doing things that make me truly joyful, without realizing it.

What has brought on this train of thought is that I've started writing a book. I have always enjoyed writing, but almost never wrote anything except a poem here and there. Writing anything meaningful has always been left for that elusive joy-filled day, Someday.

Someday I'll learn to sing. Someday I'll take the pottery class I've always wanted to take. Someday I'll learn how to write stories. Someday I'll start practicing the piano again. Someday, someday, someday.

Someday after James graduates from school....again.
Someday after I get the house cleaned up and organized once and for all.
Someday when I'm not so tired.
Someday when my kids are older.
Someday when I'm thin again and have more confidence.

You get the picture. Sure, there are things that won't fit into my life right now. But I decided that instead of feeling depressed about what I can't do right now, I should do some things that I can.

Last year I attended a fireside given by Janice Kapp Perry and her husband. Any woman in the LDS (Mormon) church who was a teenage girl in the last 20 or so years knows who I'm talking about. Sister Perry has written many, many songs that have uplifted and inspired many people all over the world.

Something she said really stood out. She was telling us about her dream of singing in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, even though she has an average voice. I'm not going to go through the whole story here, but due to her husband's encouragement over and over, she went through the auditioning process and became a member for several years. She said that it was one of the best experiences of her life. She also told us that she would have missed it if she had let her fear get the best of her. She said, "Don't ever let fear prevent you from realizing your dreams."

I went up to her afterwards and told her that she had really touched me. She looked at me and said, "Now, don't you forget it!" I haven't.

When I was looking at the classes that the University offers the general public, I saw that they had a creative writing class. I realized that in order to prepare for a class like that, I probably had to have some actual writing done. So I've started. I won't be taking the class this semester, maybe not this year. But I've actually begun writing something that's dear to my heart.

I have a series of ongoing stories that I made up for my sons at bedtime over a few months. They loved them so much that I decided to turn them into a book. I wrote a few paragraphs last June, then didn't touch it again until now. I finished writing the 1st chapter, and I am really scared. I actually started another book before I started working on this one again. I think I did that because I really love the story I told my sons, and it's so dear to my heart that I get scared at putting those ideas on paper. What if I can't do it? But what if I don't?

That part doesn't really matter. I have made it a goal to work on my book several hours a week at least, until it gets done. I have no idea how long that will take. Then I have to edit it. The thing that will get me through it is that if I don't do it, I'll regret it for the rest of my life. My sons won't care if I have to publish it myself, but it will be our story made into a book just for them.

I'm discovering how much I've been keeping secret from myself. I love writing. I mean, I really love it. I love how I can just let my imagination go. I've let my mind open up to it, and now I can't stop it. I have storylines and ideas for other books in my brain. Sometimes it feels like my head's going to explode, then I think, "What have I done! I've unleashed the beast!"

I know that some days it will seem more like hard work and no fun, and you know what? I can stop on those days and do something else. No one is making me do this. If I get really stuck, I can pray. Heck, I'll pray as I go along anyway to ask the Lord for His help to help me say what I'm trying to.

We also brought our keyboard upstairs, and my sweet husband got some speakers so we could use it. I love music, and taught myself to play a little. I know I'm diverting from my thoughts a little more, but I realized something.

I am a person who craves creativity. I get depressed and eat more and get morose if I'm deprived of it. I need it. I thrive on it. I can get by without much, but I need just a little each day, or at least several times a week. This blog helps to fill that need. Practicing a little music fills it. Painting pictures with my kids fills it. Creativity helps to heal depression for me. I need to start turning to it more than turning to food.

The thing is, right now I should be sleeping. I should be doing more laundry, or picking up the living room. I just felt compelled to write this now, and I'm not sure why. Maybe there's someone out there who needs to read what I have discovered for myself. Creativity fills the soul. For me, it's not a luxury like I've been treating it. It's not a reward for doing my housework. It's part of me, and I need it. Trust me, my family needs it too. I think creativity is treated as unimportant in the rush of every day life. Maybe we need more of it to help us connect to God, our families, and ourselves. I'm discovering that it's helping me become more of who I really am. And as Martha Stewart says, "That's a good thing."

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Great Mouse Detectives

I was in the kitchen about an hour ago, mixing up *sniff* a cake *sniff sniff* for my baby who is growing up. *Waaaaaahhhh*. Not fast, but finally. Bugaboo turns 6 today. He's been my most challenging child due to the developmental delays he's had. For a child who only screamed until he was three and couldn't talk to me normally until he was almost 5, having him stand here right here whining and begging me to cook him ramen for his birthday lunch is almost sweet to my ears. I say almost, because I've already told him that the water has to bubble first. Plus I'm getting a headache, not helped by the screaming of earlier. And part of that screaming was my fault.

To give a little background, last week I reorganized some cabinets and found where a little mouse had been exploring. Thankfully he didn't get into anything, and the "evidence" looked kind of old, so I thought he got a smell of our big doggie and ran away. I hadn't seen any more "evidence", so forgot about it.

Like I said, I was mixing up a cake. I had just picked up the bucket (yes, a bucket. I buy in bulk.) of baking powder to add 2 teaspoons to the bowl. Bugaboo and Princess were in the living room watching tv, and Professor was sitting at the table in the kitchen where he could see into the living room. I was standing at the counter.

Suddenly Professor says, looking towards the living room, "There's a mouse! There's a mouse over there!" I did the mature, adult thing so I wouldn't frighten the kids. I started screaming and got on a chair. Yes, I did. Because I was screaming, Bugaboo lost it as he freaks out easily. So when I stopped screaming, and Bugaboo didn't, it was time for action.

"Professor, where did the mouse go?" "Between the fireplace and the bookshelf, and I don't know if it's a mouse or a rat". I said, "It's a mouse. Rats don't leave poop that small." (I had actually just found some in my bundt cake pan.) Then, knowing that I had to find out if the mouse was there, I said "Will you please go check and make sure he's gone?" So he did, and the mouse was gone....or behind the bookshelf. Since Bugaboo was still freaking out, I knew we needed to see if that mouse was really gone or was just hiding, so I tried to look and see through the 3 inch opening between the fireplace and the bookshelf to see if there was a hole. I chickened out, worried that it might be there hiding and again asked Professor to look, this time to see if there was a hole. He informed me that there was.

A little braver now that I was sure the mouse had gone back into the wall, I lay down on the floor to get a closer look. When I saw the 1/4-3/8 inch crack where some of the plaster brickfront had cracked and come off, I realized that the little scamp had in all likelyhood escaped back into the wall. Worried that he might be lurking there during my wall examination, I said to Professor who was standing there watching me, "What if he jumps out and runs straight for me?" to which he replied in his droll 7 year old way, "Well, then at least you'd know what it is." "What kind of answer is that!" I exclaimed, then broke into laughter for a few moments until I realized that the mouse could be watching me, waiting for his chance.

Professor and I got into our problem-solving mode, and tried to figure out what to stuff the hole with. I started chewing a piece of gum with which to stuff it, but realized that the lemony smell might tempt the mouse to chew it, so we did the next smartest thing. We called Daddy at lunch.

James told us to go downstairs to the storage room to get the wall putty roll that the dog had been chewing on before he rescued it. We got it, and the dog hair embedded in it may help to repel that mouse. I hope.

When we were ready to seal the hole, I figured we'd better check to make sure no mouse was behind the bookshelf. I told Bugaboo and Princess to get on the couch, and I haven't seen either one obey that fast in a long time, unless it involved ice cream. Then I got on a chair with a broken wooden curtain rod to poke behind the bookshelf, and asked Professor to watch and see if a mouse came out. None did, and I was pretty thorough.

I took a piece of putty, warmed it up, got my hand close to the wall, then chickened out again. I don't know what's wrong with me. I think I've gotten more...well...helpless-womanlike in the last few years when it comes to dealing with things like that. So, I recruited Professor again. Lest you think that I'm an awful mother, let me explain that he spent much of yesterday watching Animal Planet, he loves snakes and his book on them and has no qualms studying dead things he finds outside. Eeew. I can barely look at dead animals. He knows that under no circumstances should he touch one, so we're good.

Anyway, he tried, but couldn't get enough leverage to make the putty stick. So I took it, pushed past the fear and stuck it on the hole. I smoothed it out to all edges of that crack. I got towards the corner, pushed there, then my finger went into a quarter-sized hole on the left that we hadn't seen! I screamed as I felt a bite on my finger and when I pulled it out.....ok, sorry. That last bit didn't happen. I couldn't resist. Well, I did scream, but there was no reason for it. So we got out a bunch more putty and sealed that other hole straight away.

After reassuring Bugaboo that the mouse couldn't come back, he calmed down fully. We all had a good laugh about the whole thing, and I finished making the cake. I've told Professor that he needs to live with me forever. He's my hero.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I'm Still Here...

We didn't get blown away by the storms. Christmas was wonderful, we got a lot done on vacation (although there was so much to do we didn't even get the upstairs completely decluttered), and went to the in-laws over New Year's where, due to late nights and junk food I proceeded to gain 2 pounds. I can't believe it. That makes 3 pounds gained back since Christmas. I'm planning on going back to the gym tomorrow. I really didn't want to go to the gym until March, because there's almost no parking!

I didn't make any New Year's Resolutions, because I know I won't keep them. I'm continually trying to pick something and do better at it, like reading my scriptures. I wanted to start developing my "talents" further, so James brought our keyboard upstairs and bought me some speakers so I could practice my meager piano skills. Did you know they have free sheet music on the Internet? I found some music I used to play, like Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata (1st movement only) and Fur Elise. I used to play those pretty well, years ago. Not so much anymore!

I also made another accomplishment today. I wrote a first chapter of a book. I don't know if it will go anywhere, but I had the opening line pop into my head, so I went with it. If I go further with it, I may post some...then again I may not. I haven't gotten over my immense fear of criticism yet, although I can take a little bit. Essential since my dream is to get published someday!

The decluttering is going ok, but I did nothing today except fold several loads of laundry. Oh yes, and start that book. Tomorrow I get back on the wagon.

I signed the boys up for some homeschooler classes yesterday that our group does during the school year. Professor is in a play that he tried out for last fall (Oliver Twist), and Bugaboo is in a Kindergarten science class at the same time. When we were at signups Professor kept saying, "Mom--they have a chess board. Mom, the board's open. Mom, it's over there, Mom, Mom, Mooooom!" So I told him to go ahead. His father has taught him the basic moves, and he's been trying to teach his brother. The class is an advanced chess class, but in talking to the teacher he said he could test him, so he did. The teacher said that he would have no trouble catching up to the rest of the class. I said, "He's....kind of a quick study." The teacher replied with a smile, "Yes, I noticed that." Professor spent much of the rest of the time we were there playing a game with the teacher between his (teacher's) other signups. There are also tournaments Professor could play in if he wants to. I'm so excited for him, although the idea boggles my mind. I would be scared to death to play chess with my husband, let alone a tournament! I'm pretty proud of him. Of course, in case you're wondering, I keep my feelings about my inadequacies to myself.

I still don't know how to get the pictures off of my camera onto the computer, and there's this really cool one I want to show you.

This post has been all over the place, but I want to tell those of you who've asked where I've been that I survived the holidays and that I'll be back in full swing soon! Now, where is my husband to show me how to post pics?