Monday, April 28, 2008
Plot: "Raised by peasants, Bella discovers that she is actually the daughter of a knight and finds herself caught up in a terrible plot that will change her life and the kingdom forever."
One website (the one I stole the picture from) recommended this book for grades 6-8. I would definitely agree this book is appropriate for younger readers but not bad for older ones looking for light brain candy.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
That first night wasn't very good as far as keeping his pants dry but the last two nights he has kept them dry. There is a gleam of hope! Yay!
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Anyway, I was able to find somethings to take home with me.
I found a darling FisherPrice Little People Christmas train, complete with Santa, Mrs. Claus, an elf and reindeer. It even plays music.
I also got a children's book treasury and some red down pillows. The pillows need a little bit of help. I'm going to see if I can mend and clean up the covers, if not I will just use the forms and make my own covers. I also found another booster seat for when Sam decides he's done with the feeding chair.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
This book is the story of "one man's mission to promote peace... one school at a time" amid the war torn and impoverished areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Greg Mortenson opens the book as an adventurous mountaineer who failed to summit K2 in Pakistan's northern mountain range. He leaves the mountain defeated but with a new determination-- to build a school for a rural village which has never had a school before. But that is only the beginning.
Eventually Mortenson starts a non-profit organization, Central Asia Institute, through which he works to build dozens of schools for impoverished children in Pakistan and eventually Afghanistan. This book details his challenges and determination to bring education to children, especially girls, and other humanitarian projects. In doing so he is fighting the stream of terrorism that is running rampant in the area and into the world. He argues that it is ignorance and lack of alternatives that drive the youth of these areas to extremist ideals and that by providing unbiased education you can cultivate peace. Mortenson especially focuses on girls because it is they who stay and build a foundation of education within their own communities.
I am overwhelmed by the scope of his projects and the determination he had with such little resources. He is one man who is working to change the world and succeeding one child at a time. What an example to follow.
I would strongly recommend this book!
If you are interested in buying this book (through Amazon.com), do so through a link on their web page www.threecupsoftea.com and 7% of the proceeds go to benefit the Central Asia Institute.
Yesterday I went to the eye doctor because I was seeing floaters in my left eye. They preceded to give me three different drops that dilated my eyes more than I think they have ever been before (I am very nearsighted and going to the eye doctor has been a regular occurrence in my life). They dilated my eyes so much I couldn't read! It was the most unnerving thing. And because they had used such strong drops, my eyes were going to be dilated for many hours. I was very grateful that I took an afternoon appointment, and that I picked up Josh from work to take the kids and drive us home. Needless to say I went to bed very early, doing anything with my eyes dilated like that was impossible.
Well, the good thing is that there is nothing seriously wrong with my eye. It is a common thing that happens to people (though more common the older you get) and is something I get to live with. The floaters are caused when the solid jell part of the eye starts to liquefy in small patches. If there is a particle in the part that liquefies then you see a floater. If you want a more technical/detail description the Mayo Clinic has some good info.
Friday, April 18, 2008
The plan is to transfer the seedlings into our "self-contained garden" boxes that Josh was kind enough to build for me off of a copycat pattern I found online. The big draw for me to the "self-contained" boxes were that there is a water reservoir in the bottom that you just have to keep filled, you don't water the plants directly (which I think is part of the problem with by black thumb--either over or under watering). I'll post pictures once we get them transferred. If you want more information on the boxes you can go here. A brochure from the boxes that are sold commercially is here.
Anyway, we haven't had much luck keeping plants alive and I'm hoping this will work for me. I'll keep you posted.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
This is one of those books that makes you want to be better. And not only do you want to be better, but Elder(now President) Eyring gives you how you can be better and promises that will come from action. If you were to look at my copy of this book you would immediatly notice that it is underlined in many many places. President Eyring bears such strong testimony and teaches with the spirit that you can feel it as you read. The book helps teach you how to apply the scriptures in your daily life and in doing so "draw closer to God."
I would strongly recommend this book. I plan on reading and pondering the chapters again and applying the teachings even more in my life. There is so much that this book has to give.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
But in reality I am doing neither, I am not loosing myself in the rhythm of manual labor and I am not lost in some library searching for long lost and long dead individuals. I am a stay at home mom and that is a job all of its own.
(**these rambles are mostly about the homemaking part of being a stay at home mom. Do not mistake this to mean that I do not love that I am able to stay home with my boys. I believe it is the best place that any mother could be and the most important job is raising my kids. BUT...)
Everyday there are menial tasks that have to be done: making beds, doing laundry, dishes, vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, wiping noses, laundry, cooking, changing diapers etc. I am not doing the same thing all day and that is a blessing but maybe (just maybe) a curse. I haven't been able to get lost in the rhythm of these tasks, become an efficient machine. They are things that I do because they have to get done (and usually I put them off until the HAVE to be done), not because I feel that I am able to do a good job at them. They do not challenge my mind. Some days my brain just feels like jello up there, not being used for anything so not much use for anything (blogging has proved a good outlet for me). There is so much uninteresting stuff I have to remember (ie. the best price for cereal and milk, how long the leftovers have been sitting in the fridge, when was the last time Elijah used the potty, where did I leave this or that, where did Josh put this, etc.) There isn't much room left to pondering anything, let alone anything profound or creative.
Anyway, this thought process made me think of the author of the blog Meck Mom. She is just one example, a mother like I am. She runs a house and does many of the same things that every other stay at home mom does BUT she is different than I am. She has used her talents and creativity to come up with solutions to help make her tasks more efficient. I admire her for it and I hope to emulate it.
So, last night it started simply by making my bed before I went and messed it up again by sleeping in it and I ended up determined to figure out a way to use my creativity (or at least copy someone elses ingenious) and make my home life more functional, efficient, and organized. I have things I need to do that aren't terribly exciting but that doesn't mean that they can't challenge my mind or creativity. Somehow I feel this will be a long process, even lifelong. I guess truly it isn't just the doing but the mentality behind it.
oh my, that was a long ramble (one that wasn't written in one sitting, to be sure). For those of you who find yourself running a home, what do you do to challenge yourself amid the hoe hum of daily tasks? Do you have any brilliant ideas you have come up with?
When you first walk in the design of the place takes your breath away. It is very modern, like it was pulled out of the future modern, we're talking tables hanging from the ceiling. Their case is just full of different flavors of cold rice pudding: chocolate, peanut butter, coconut, lemon, pistachio, raspberry... and many more. But that is not what they are called; they all have fancy names (I wish I could remember them and their link on their website isn't working) and you can even get toppings on top. I went in not thinking myself to be a rice pudding fan (Josh on the other hand grew up with his grandma making it), that I would just taste Josh's and I came out surprised and satisfied. This place is hip and unlike any other "food place" out there. If you ever find yourself in Provo, make sure to make a stop and try the out of this world cool pudding.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
I did enjoy the book. Angela Hallstrom is a very descriptive writer and I enjoyed her use of words to create images and characters, but the format of the book felt very disconnected to me. Each chapter is a glimpse at the Palmer family at one point in time (the book covers decades). The chapters are often from the perspective of different members of the family and the chapters are not directly connected to each other. You do come to care for the characters in the book. They feel real, with real strengths and real weaknesses. Indeed I think the main focus of the book is that these people are real, they live in our world, and they are struggling for their family, something most of us can relate to.
We were in Utah long enough, and said good-bye often enough, that Sammy really got the hang of getting ready and going places. He was always ready to go, anytime-anywhere. The video is me catching Sam taking matters into his own hands. He pulled Grammie's shirt out of the laundry room and grabbed Bekah's backpack and determined that he was ready to go bye-bye.
Monday, April 14, 2008
From DI and Deseret Book (LDS nonfiction):
To Draw Closer to God by Henry B. Eyring (reading this one right now, enjoying it greatly)
Covenant Hearts by Bruce C. Hafen
Discourses of Brigham Young compiled by Widtsoe
Conference Classics by Thomas S. Monson
Raising up a Family to the Lord by Gene R. Cook
Teach Ye Diligently by Boyd K. Packer
Stand Ye in Holy Places by Harold B. Lee
Salvation in Christ, Comparative Christian Views edited by Roger R Keller and Robert L Millet
Unto the Least of These by Jack R. Christianson
Other books I bought:
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
Bound on Earth by Angela Hallstrom
Books my mother let me borrow:
Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale (also currently reading this one)
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
Girl in Blue by Ann Rinaldi
Bella at Midnight by Diane Stanley
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
There are two organizations that I have found:
These organizations are different in their length requirements and in their focus for recipients.
Beautiful lengths requires a minimum of 8 inches and the wigs are made for women suffering from hair loss due to cancer. More information on their requirements and suggestions can be found here.
Locks of Love requires a minimum of 10 inches (preferably 12") and the wigs are made for children suffering from various illnesses that cause hair loss. More information on their requirements and suggestions can be found here.
So far, I am not committed to one or the other. Honestly, I think it will come down to how long my hair is by this summer. I am excited for the opprotunity to share my hair (something which I am proud of) and also a good excuss to get up the guts and try a shorter hair cut. Who knows, maybe I will really like short hair! I'll be sure to post before and after pictures.
Anyone else interested in joining the band wagon? I'm trying to convince my sister and I think I've got Christina on board too. Let me know if you decide to too!
The concert was really enjoyable. Josh and I haven't been able to go to one in awhile. I love seeing music performed live. I not only love hearing the powerful sounds but seeing the expressions of the musicians and their movements in sync with each other. I also love watching the conductor (I miss being under the command of a conductor) and how he can pull the music out of the musicians with his precise little movements.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Sunday, April 6, 2008
While here in Utah, I picked up a book that my mother-in-law had lying around called The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. This 2008 Caldecott Medal winning book is rather unique in its format. A description from it's website says:
"This 526-page book is told in both words and pictures. The Invention of Hugo Cabret is not exactly a novel, and it’s not quite a picture book, and it’s not really a graphic novel, or a flip book, or a movie, but a combination of all these things. Each picture (there are nearly three hundred pages of pictures!) takes up an entire double page spread, and the story moves forward because you turn the pages to see the next moment unfold in front of you."
I rather enjoyed the format. It makes for a very quick and interesting read. The story is about a boy who works with clocks and resorts to becoming a theif to build a mechanical man with a mysterious past. The book also delves a little bit into early French film history. The pictures don't supplement the written word but replace it when they are used. Truly utilizing the thought that "a picture is worth a thousand words." I would recommend this book mostly because of the interesting writing format though I did enjoy reading it (in the couple hours it took for me to do so).
Yesterday we had the opprotunity to sustain our new prophet, Thomas S. Monson, in solemen assembly. It was moving to watch all of the different groups of people stand and sustain our leaders. As I watched President Monson, I could imagine what this ment to see all the people sustain him. It was a powerful moment to raise my own hand to the square. I am so grateful that we have a living prophet on the earth today that guides the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know that if I follow his teachings I will be doing what the Lord has commanded. I'm grateful for conference which gives me the opprotunity to hear the words of the prophets and learn how I can be better.