Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tune in to tune out.

I think I've posted before about my passion for audio books. I grew up listening to books on tape, graduated to CD's after I left college and now I'm hooked to my mp3 player a LOT! When Matt was living away from us and I was pregnant trying to sell the house my audio books saved me from tearful collapses while I cleaned and cleaned and from crying myself to sleep at night. That sounds dramatic but it's completely true. Most library systems have an audio book account with somebody. In NJ I had and here in Houston it's One tricky part is finding books to listen to that I know are clean and that I haven't already read. I'm not up on contemporary literature so I scan the Internet lds book lists looking for winners. About half of The Amelia Peabody Series are on netlibrary so I logged in about, oh, 350 hrs listening to those twice 2 summers ago. I became so addicted to them that if I need to sleep or if I am trying to move forward and not think about something hard I go back to those books. I ADORE the characters and want to be Amelia Peabody. Elizabeth Peters give Amelia the best quotes. Full of wisdom and humor. I am a sucker for any book that takes me touring the world. So, the point of this post-besides selling audio books-is to share the books I've read recently so my sisters and friends can enjoy them too.

  • 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society' which I loved, it just chickened out too soon. Needs a sequel.

  • 'The Last Lecture' which was very inspiring and had me in tears, laughing and really thinking. I'd like to read it again and take a few notes.

  • 'The Invisible Wall: A Love Story that Broke Barriers' Also enjoyed. It flipped around some of my philosophies to let me see them from another angle.

I've read some others but I can't think of them at the moment. I also started 'Atlas Shrugged' but I haven't finished it because it's larger than my mp3 player can hold and I can't seem to listen out loud at my house.

note: I realize that I didn't give a lot of info on these books or the author. If you need additional info I'm happy to oblige, just email me.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Anybody know a museum who could use . . .

A 'green' time capsule unleashed into a dazzling chandelier!

Check out the blog of my Sister-in-law and her daughters. They're all oozing creative genius and now you can read about it here-

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Update #3 'Nanny'

Nobody should be lost in their own family but Sammy is. He's not really up with Eli and Luke, he's not a girl, he's not a baby. He can't quite read yet, he isn't terrible agile. There are just too many things that he's NOT. What he is, is a fighter. He will work himself to the bone to be part of the big boys. He will try so hard to drag Alena into his imagination-quite humerus because she cannot understand that sweet things just don't fit in. He enjoys reading more and more but his guessing is just holding him back. He can't play many of the games with dad because he's a lousy shot with a nerf gun and can't strategize in Risk. Recently I taught him to play Thurn and Taxis and he did a great job-some serious beginner's luck. He also got a chance to be with Mom, Dad, Alena, and Brigham at the park and had a lovely time racing Matt in an obstacle course. He is the only child who doesn't like his Primary class-I'm not sure why still because I haven't had to go to Primary with him at all. Today he still didn't like it but all the way home from church he told me story after story about when people listened to the Holy Ghost and then asked me for stories when I listened to the Holy Ghost. Recently Brigham settled on a name for him. He calls him "Nanny". Samuel said "Now Brigham likes me!" Poor guy thought the baby brother he adored didn't like him because he said every one's name but his. He still loves lizards and he was very excited when Luke pointed out that the scar on his knee looks obviously like a lizard. That should be a surgery technique-scars that fit the personality.

Update #2 Alena

Alena still lives in her own made up world. She's tampering with her first four years, toying with new favorite colors and imaginary people moving away or dying. She recently requested that her room have a "happy people wall with a tiny sun and a tiny rainbow and people laying on a blanket." That is Alena's bliss. She draws me flowers, rainbows, suns, and mostly very happy people all day long every day. They come in envelopes and wrapped in handkerchiefs, they're on the refrigerator, my desk and tucked into forgotten pockets. Her favorite and least favorite parts of her day all belong to her beloved Sammy. No boy ever had a better sister and no mom ever had a better daughter. She is still a "very fussy eater" and she LOVES family movie night. She loves riding her bike to the park, and going swimming and doing puzzles. She hates being alone. She has begun to say prayers-FINALLY. At home she says them in a tiny voice copying someone I know not who. But today at church she was supposed to say the opening prayer in Primary. She wanted me there. However, when the Primary leader came to ask her to take a seat up front, she left me in the dust. She was so excited. I came and I helped her but she spoke up clearly and reveled in the spotlight. I can't wait to see her bloom.

Updates #1 Brigham

So here's a bit about each of the family. I sent out a letter to my family and Ashley wanted me to post it here but cutting and pasting doesn't seem to be allowed on blogger so here's an updated version. Brigham is a highly dangerous person to everything in his reach. This is one of the safer activities for him. I put him in the bath and turn the water on as low as I can and it takes about 30-45min for it to get deep enough to cause trouble. He fills his little bottle and pours it in a cup and then a bucket for about that length of time. Whew! He also has become a basketball maniac. His deepest desire(besides being with his dad 24/7) is to fly through the air and dunk a ball. While the Cougars were in the limelight he loved watching "Jimmer". He tries so hard squatting down, tensing all his muscles and then shooting up with a loud scream! But alas, his feet just won't leave the ground. So, he just repeats "ball, ball. ouskeet, UP UP!!" over and over and over and. . .

Houston Zoo

We've become somewhat of a zoo expert family. We've been to no less than, um, let me count: Hogal, Denver, Boise, Houston, Dallas, Audubon, Baton Rouge, Maryland, Cape May, Philadelphia, National, Bridgeton, um, that's all I can remember. So 12 zoos that I can think of. Maybe I'll do a blog on the best zoos:) So, on a bad day, we often head off to get some fresh air at the zoo.

Do you see the tiny baby giraffe in the picture above on the right? It was a week old. The daddy is on the other side of the fence and the little family was trying to be affectionate. It was so sweet and made me cry. I'm a little sensitive about divided families.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Where my thoughts are

I've had a hard time enjoying some normal things lately. My thoughts go something like this. "How can everybody just watch and be so excited about March Madness when so many people are suffering?"
And today this "How is it possible to go through 3 church meetings and not have Japan mentioned even once?"
I feel such a weight of sadness that I truly can't verbalize that there are millions of people working and suffering over a loss this incredible. When Katrina hit it really seemed like the world was on edge and it was spilled milk in the shadow of Japan's catastrophe. I'm not trying to pat myself on the back for my sympathies, really. Part of the anxiety I feel over this is not doing anything. I know that my donations to the church are being used for humanitarian aid, but I want to do something tangible. Shouldn't we be organizing service projects or something? What could I do with my kids? Any ideas? My sister said that in Wellington where she lives there are what I guess you'd call refugees. Maybe they need something I could send. There must be something. I know they need money. Maybe I should just do without something and send the money.
Someday I want to be the girl flying out to administer, to wade through the muck and help. I want to save people. I HATE being still during a disaster. I'm strong, I have endurance, I need training-and I need all my yahoos to grow up and fly the coup. 'Till then, maybe I'll make towels again!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Our house list

1-Good curb appeal
2-Trees and imagination feeds in yard
3-A drive-way off the road
4-The pool divided from play-yard
5-A good sized kitchen-not closed in with enough work space and AT LEAST good potential
6-Lakewood Forest or an area that gives us that kind of warm fuzzies
7-Large breakfast area for table
8-Music room/library
9-Good sized rooms for at least the 2 rooms shared by the boys
10-Playroom/future teen-ager hang-out room
11-Garden space
12-No outrageous ceilings
13-Manageable updating
14-Less than 190,000 including anything crazy like new roof
15-Work space for me
16-No serious black marks for future resale
17-A reasonable amount of space for guests.
18-Good school district
There are other things, believe it or not, we'd like to have like wood floors and a screened in porch but even this much necessity seems to be impossible to find.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Unrequited Love

We reached as far as we could but it was just $5000 too high ("right inbetween ouch and boing")

We are not sure we'll ever love another quite as much. How do you recover from this kind of rejection. sobb, sobb.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Texas

"Texas is a state of mind. Texas is an obsession. Above all, Texas is a nation in every sense of the word. And there's an opening convey of generalities. A Texan outside of Texas is a foreigner." ~John Steinbeck

10 Reasons I love Texas

1. I love driving around a seeing that noble Texas flag EVERYWHERE. Don't see that in very many states.

2. You can drive and see a sign for just about anything you're looking for right on the side of the freeway. And if you miss your exit just hope on the service road and come back. Easy-peasy.

3. Tex-Mex!!!!

4. Respectful titles of "Mam" and "Sir".

5. It's 'The Friendly State' and that's not bragging.

6. Church is strong here. Our development is getting it's own building.

7. Everything's bigger here. Houses, roads, space(and I few things I wish weren't so big like housing developments and bugs).

8. Bluebell Ice Cream.mmmmmmmmmm.

9. Housing prices.

10.Wildflowers and praries, coastline,forests, mountains, deserts and tropics.