Aug 30, 2010

A little too much for me...

You know, I'm not really one to say people are communists, or people are stupid, or people are racist (though I have called on tea-partiers to exorcise the racist messages that tend to get delivered in street-protests). So I'm not going to say anything like that about Glenn Beck or his rally.

I will say, however, that it's a little scary to me. Reading the transcripts, listening to the sound bytes, looking at the pictures... it feels a little off, to me. Something's not right.

It kind of reminds me of the man in my home ward who'd get up behind the pulpit during testimony meeting, hold up a copy of "An Enemy Hath Done This," (a political work written by Ezra Taft Benson before he became the prophet of the LDS church) and talk about how we all ought to read it along with the Book of Mormon. As if those two books made up the scriptures. His testimony always went on about how evil he thought America's current leadership was and how, if we wanted to fight to "save America" we had to believe a certain, narrow set of political doctrines.

I never heard him use the word communist, at the pulpit, though.

I know this was a rally, not a sacrament meeting. But with the religious rhetoric being taken up a notch, I almost feel like I'm not sure which part of me needs to be responding--the part that is skeptical of anything a politician/talk radio host says and therefore can easily dismiss such things, or the part of me that is respectful of people's testimonies and therefore, horrified at some of the things that are being said, and fearful of a giant movement of gospel-hobbyists that might decide that politics is the core and purpose of the gospel, and it's up to us to keep America from Hanging By A Thread.

I sure hope that this hasn't done a whole lot of damage.

I sure hope people still realize that the milk and meat of the gospel (ha! Ironic considering I don't feed my family either of those) is repentance, redemption, missionary work and service.

Personally, I still need to focus on the milk and meat of the gospel. I'm really not perfect enough to start going for the barley drinks and acai berries and 12-day-grapefruit fasts of the gospel. So even if God really does want us all to be libertarians... I'm not going to make that my focus in life right now.

No disrespect, Glenn Beck. No disrespect.

And BTW... if you are starting to think of yourself as a prophet (as a lot of media moguls from both sides of the political spectrum have stated), you're gonna have some trouble. Trouble that I really don't want to have to watch unfold.

Aug 28, 2010



I don't know why I'm blogging.

I guess I feel like I need to say how this week all ended--on a rather positive note. We've had lots of intense socializing over the last few days, which my kids needed.

Everything went all right, just like I knew it would.

The world didn't end and the sky didn't fall.

And I'm getting to sleep at 9:30 tonight and next week will be easier.

The end.

Aug 25, 2010

Punishment by degrees

I came up with a new genius way to give consequences today.

My girls were told to clean up the mess they made in the living room. One of my girls said outright, "I'm NOT going to clean."

I looked her in the eye and said, "Then you're going to bed an hour early. If you don't clean the living room, you don't get to enjoy the living room after dinnertime with everyone else."

They all busily went about cleaning after this. I gave them a reasonable time period to get it done, and it did get finished.

With one disclaimer.

"(this child) didn't clean!" exclaims one of the other children.

"No, she didn't." Another child shakes her head vigorously.

I look said child in the eye. "Did you clean?"

Child nods, but with a guilty look in her eye. "I did."

"But she stopped and played for a little while when the rest of us were finishing."

"Hm," I say. "Is this true?"

Guilty slight nod.

"Well, you only disobeyed me a little bit. So maybe I'll just give you a little bit of the punishment. You can go to bed ten minutes early instead of an hour early. OK?"

Weeping, bewailing and gnashing of teeth. So obviously it was an effective punishment. (Am I evil that I gauge the effectiveness of my consequences by the sadness they cause?)

ANyway, I'm seeing all sorts of possibilities.

Just a LITTLE bit of extra cleaning up--more than everyone else.

Only SOME treat--Just a little less than everyone else.

I'm thinking with this new lovely vista of options opening up before my eyes, I might eliminate the straggling obedience problem I have altogether!

Am I evil to be this excited about it all?

Aug 23, 2010

Going Crazy, Maybe


I think I might have officially had my breakdown today. Let's face it, it's been a long time coming.

What an NSG breakdown looks like:

obsessing until 11:30 at night, trying to make schedules fit with ballet and Activity days even though I could do it the next morning, perhaps more productively.

Climbing into bed and getting weepy, talking to Skywalker about how he spends way too much time on the computer in evenings and I need more of him. Nice, mutually loving and satisfactory conversation, but lasts until 1:30 am.

The next morning, blowing up over a hole in the parachute that was caused because the kids were disobediently using it to drag each other across the living room carpet. Long lecture on obedience, resulting in MayMay being put in her room for talking back and Bella being put in time out for a lesser, similar offense.

later on in the morning, exploding, crying, and reconciling with sister, after a mutual event of lots and lots of buried frustration. I can think of *one* other time this has happened since we've both reached adulthood... oddly enough, both happened within the past year... you know, since the adoption.

Ship me off to the funny farm. Seriously.

This is what I have to deal with this week:

1) restart of Ballet classes, for all 4 of my older girls. 3 have never taken them. I feel this is important because MayMay is physically delayed, Loli is physically small and has a genetic tendency toward some physical weaknesses that are helped a great deal by dance. Plus she really enjoys it and is good at it.
2) restart of music classes this Friday, which I feel I cannot gracefully get out of because a friend does them and, in desperation offered 2-for-the-price-of-one. Plus my kids love them and freaked out when I said we're cancaling and it gets them constantly singing, which is something I want for my family. Plus my girls are best friends with some of the kids in the class, and need the social interaction.
3) Social worker is coming over tonight for our year-post interview. So the house has to be clean.
4) League of Utah Writer's meeting Tuesday night. This is not a source of stress, it's a source of relief and de-stressing... but I feel guilty for taking that evening off when Skywalker is so swamped at work because of beginning-semester-push.
5) Wednesday is Activity days for Loli. And usually my day off for that league of utah writer's meeting and voice lessons, on alternating weeks. It's also Homeschooling friends Girl's club, which takes place in the middle of the day, and which I feel I've been guilted into attending (not by you, Sarah H.) I do have a voice lesson this week.
6) Thursdays might be my redemption this year. But this week I have a recital on Thursday evening. *edited to add, found out the recital was pushed to Friday so I CANNOT attend. Um. Yay?*
7) Fridays are homeschooling friends friday fun classes, which could be fun but are usually stressful. Like I said before today is also the girl's music lessons. This friday is the homeschooling friends campout which I have been somehow strongarmed into planning, when originally I simply offered to reserve the campsite for everyone. It's friday-saturday. As I said on Saturday I have a birthday party to try to attend.
so in short:

Monday: dance from 2:15-3:45, plus FHE to plan and treat to try to throw together, this week SW interview
Tuesday: this week LUW meeting
Wednesday: Girls club 1:00, activity days 4pm to 530 on alternating weeks, voice lesson 7pm
Thursday: Skywalker's night off (he'll need it. He'll probably even stay at work and use his "night off" to program and fix software until the wee hours of the morning)
Friday: Friday Fun classes from 9-11pm weekly. This week, Homeschooling friends campout. Going up at 3pm to get everything going and charcoal briquettes going.
Saturday: usually a free day. this week, homeschooling campout ends hopefully at 12:00 pm so we can get out of there and up to niece's birthday party by 3 or 5 whatever she decides in the end
Sunday: Skywalker is ward clerk, enough said

And also, this whole week, Skywalker is goign to have to stay as late as possible on our free nights to fix all the problems people caused while we were on vacation. The anger and frustration this has caused Skywalker, and also me, has been a definitive stressor this week.

And also, I'm on a diet. Which, I haven't really felt irritable or low-energy until the evenings when Skywalker is actually here, but let's face it... it's likely contributing. Detoxing is no fun.

And also, I'm going through the standard beggining-of-homeschooling-year freak out session. The problem is... I know the school system would be even more stressful to have to deal with... I was joking to skywalker last night that I always think now, when I stress over homeschooling, what's the other option? There is no other option.

Anyway, I had to vent... and now it's over. So please wish me luck, say a prayer... blueslip me to the funny farm...

tell me which one I can eliminate???

Thank you,


PS: one thing's for sure. We're having pizza for dinner tonight.

And we're eating it on paper plates.

Aug 22, 2010

The Letter I sent to MayMay's Primary Teacher Today

so as we were walking home from primary, MayMay was proudly showing me her "dough." I said, "oh, that's so nice! Playdough!" And she said, "No mom, it's not playdough. It's dough!"

We got in the door and about 15 minutes into making lunch MayMay announced that she was supposed to make a pizza with the dough. So I changed my assumptions... Sister Black must have given them some dough to make something at home. What a great idea! OK, fine. Go ahead and make a pizza.

I preheated the oven and the kids had a grand old time rolling out the "dough" on a baking sheet. I gave MayMay sauce to spread, and cheese, and put it in the oven to bake. 10 minutes later I took it out, got the "pizza" off the pan, and put it on MayMay's plate, instructing her to share a little bit with her sisters.

I tasted a little glob of crust which had stuck to the pan.

I'm sure you know the rest.... :)

Skywalker and I were laughing so hard. I laughed so hard I cried. Anyway... thank you for the playdough! I should have tasted it before we even started.

Aug 21, 2010

The Hilarious Mr. Putz

If you haven't had a chance to go check out his blog, this is a good post to start with.

Mr. Putz SAYS he is a retired man in his sixties who is suffering from dementia but I know better... nobody with dementia could write with that level of hilarious, rambling genius.

Barack Obama's Religion

I just listened to an npr podcast and after listening to it, I'm just curious. So I thought I'd try a little experiment.

What religion is our president?

You don't have to participate. But I'm curious as to what kinds of answers this question would receive amongst my friends and family.

Aug 19, 2010

New Goals For a New Year

I turned 30 two days ago.

I love 30.

Before we left on vacation, Skywalker and I had kind of a strange experience. We were feeling all these promptings to apply for a job in Idaho. We did, and got to the last stage of the interview. I was going crazy planning for a possible move.

They ended up choosing someone else.

our reactions: relief, confusion, and a re-set of "where are we" conversations.

Skywalker has a good job. He likes it. I wouldn't say loves it, but likes it and that's pretty good especially with the economy and job market being what it is right now. But I always think of him as someone who's got some kind of Mission. He's brilliant, compassionate, and wildly creative. He's one of those people you just know are meant for something special. Maybe that something special is to be in support for the rest of his life, because those qualities I listed before make him very good at support. But he's got an inventor's heart... he wants to do something innovative, something he believes in, something that can leave his day free eventually to do what he really loves: teach, and write.

This job would have incorporated some of that, but in essence it was still a support job. We've landed, in all of this, on a possible conclusion: we've got to get going on starting a business. That's why Skywalker took the job he has now in the first place--it's only a 40 hour a week job and still incorporates a lot of his talents and finds a use for the master's degree he has. The 40 hour a week job means he's got time to start a business on the side (yes, we're talking being SWAMPED with work. But it's what he's wanted for a long time.) So we've decided to have a weekly date night/brainstorming session together. We have friends over fridays, so we're planning a short night out Saturdays, so we can go somewhere quiet and brainstorm together. And maybe get something going.

The second set of goals is related to health. I realized when I was at home, and had access to a scale (I don't have one here, for lots of rebellious reasons) that I weigh more now than I ever thought I would weigh without pregnancy as a factor. It startled me a little. And while I like my body (it's nice and curvy and feminine... sorry if I just grossed some of you out), I don't want to make this a trend or habit, and my body actually likes me a little better when I range from 120-135 or so. Right now I'm hovering around 150. So... I never thought I'd say this, but we're on a diet for a while. I haven't done anything this pregnancy different from the others, so I know it's likely my metabolism doing the dreaded 'slow down at 30-ish' routine. Skywalker has needed this for a while, too, though I've had a hard time admitting it. I hate the idea of dieting. Literally hate it. It goes against a lot of what I know and believe... but really, at this point it seems the most inevitable option.

I plan on exercizing, too, though. my mother had the book, "you are your own gym" at her house and Skywalker read quite a bit of it and was inspired. The exercises described in it are a lot like the ones I did on the ski-team in high school for "interval training." So I plan on doing these a few times a week to build muscle and bone health. I also plan on running daily. In order to have the time for this, we will need to buy a treadmill. I've thought and thought, brainstormed and brainstormed, and there really is no other option, if I want to run. And there won't be, until I'm 36 or so... my health can't wait 6 years.

I've made a covenant with myself that if I don't fudge on the diet or exercize I can take myself out to dinner once a month, wherever I want, and eat whatever I want.

So... this post is mostly reflective, but also for accountability. My cousin Adele has inspired me, as I've watched her meet her goals... here I am following in her footsteps. Thanks for being an inspiration, Adele.

Aug 16, 2010

Things We Say

(Setting: Grandma Patricia, NSG and recently RM'd little brother John are in the middle of a conversation about (among many other things) Harrison Ford and how young he still looks.)

Grandma Patricia: I saw that last one.

NSG: Which One?

Grandma Patricia: You know, the one where they end up in Petra, and they have all that with the swinging knives that shoot out and cut off your head? And by the way, I've been to Petra, in fact all of us went through there, and I can tell you they don't really have any swinging knives because all of us still have our heads.

(setting: Jaws is sitting at the piano with a disney storybook propped open on the music stand. MayMay is standing in the middle of the room, seriously contemplating a little plastic photo album with random pieces of scribbled-on paper stuck in the plastic pages.)

Jaws: (turning to glance over her shoulder) We're doing Belle, MayMay. (Proceeds to delicately press random keys with both hands.)

MayMay: OK. Belle. Hmmm. (flips through her pages, glancing at one every now and then.) Here we go. Belle. (Begins singing to Jaw's accompaniment) Belle is so very pretty! She is here. She-- (Turns to see NSG grinning, jumps and covers mouth) Mom!

NSG: (quickly smothers grin.) That's pretty, girls.

Jaws: (Glances sternly over shoulder at NSG) Mom! This is a Belle song that nobody should ever hear. OK?

Aug 1, 2010


Loli: Mom, do you think I can do a job to earn money?

NSG: (looks warily at Loli) Like what?

Loli: Like... clean the mirror?

NSG: that's too little.

Loli: (large blue-eyed dissappointment)

NSG: If you took everything off the counter and cleaned the counter, and the mirror, and put everything back nicely then I'd give you a quarter.

Loli: (Considers for a moment. Nods. Runs off).

(clamoring chidlren, all running toward NSG)

Bella: Mom! I want to Mop and Sweep!

Jaws: Mom, I want to clean the potty!

MayMay: (frowns) Mom, how much Loli gets?

NSG: A quarter. Bella, the floor's clean. But you can clean the toys outside and on the porch and put them away where they go, I will give you a quarter. Jaws, cleaning the potty is a mommy job, not a kid job.

Bella: Mom, I want a job that's inside because it's too hot outside.

NSG: Ok, well you can clean the nap room all by yourself. You have to put all the clothes in the drawers and the drawers have to be closed, even Squirt's.

Bella: OK.

MayMay: Mom, how much she gets?

NSG: A quarter.

Jaws: I want to play princesses.

Squirt: (squeezes Rose's fist until she makes a protest-like noise, gives NSG a mischevious look.)

Jaws: Squirt, go sit on the time out bench.

Squirt: NO!

MayMay: If I clean everything outside can I get two quarters?

NSG: No. Outside's not messy enough for two quarters.

MayMay: If I do all the sticks?

NSG: There aren't any sticks.

MayMay: (Gives NSG a dark look from under her eyebrows)

NSG: Squirt, go sit on the time out bench or I'll spank your little bum. Now. One, Two, Three--

Squirt: OK! (runs to the stairs, stands on them and repeatedly slams the door.)

NSG: Squirt, Go!

Squirt: OK! (pattering of little feet up the stairs.)

Jaws: (screeches) MOmmy, squirt's not on the time-out bench!

NSG: Go, Squirt!

Jaws: He's still not!

NSG: Squirt--

Jaws: He is now, mom.

Getting Kneeled

credit for these goes to Emily, my favorite photographer.