Just another day in Paradise.

Just another day in Paradise.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween From Under the Sea

It's over! No more parties, trunk-or-treat or trick-or-treating. Now we're just left with what we pillaged from the neighborhood and what we didn't give away. Luckily I picked out stuff I liked in case we had some leftover. We've never been home to give out candy on Halloween night so I thought that would be more fun than taking the kids around myself. Avery thought so too. We did hit up our street and got some good loot (jr. mints, milano cookies and reeses are mine!) but A. was really excited to give candy away. And I even convinced her to go through her bag and add to the bowl whatever she didn't want. I hate the pure sugar/foodcoloring candies, like Nerds, Sweet-Tarts etc. At least chocolate has some nutrients! Here are some random snapshots of our ghoulish adventures. We're lucky that there are any sequins left on that mermaid dress.

Keep your friends close.

Avery was at a party the other day when another Ariel showed up. To her this meant they were instant best friends. She would not let her get more than 5 feet away. It made me think about how an adult would probably get as far away from the person wearing the same outfit as possible. Even as a mom I was thinking, man that other mermaid's wig is so much nicer (meaning that her mother must not have let her play with it for the three weeks prior) but Avery only saw a girl who loves the same things she does. Or is she merely keeping her "enemies" closer.

(Enough muscles for all the ladies)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Ghost of Halloweens Past

If I have a picture of you in a costume it's in the slideshow. Look closely, you might just see someone you know!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

TU Football

Ben, the ESPN addict that he is, found this video of Trinity's football team in a recent game of...rugby or maybe hot potato? They've always had a pretty good team but this is just ridiculous.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Time to myself

Although I don't like the idea of Ben missing birthdays and holidays for the rest of his working life, I do actually enjoy the occasional night to myself.* No need to cook, and therefore no mess in the kitchen to clean up. And no need to scramble around to erase all evidence of the destructive fun we had that day. Generally, I feel compelled to straighten, vacuum and shine before the good doctor comes home, not because he expects or demands it but because I feel that I at least owe him that for letting me get 4-5 more hours of sleep per night than he gets. Plus, I like a clean home, complete with telltale lines on the carpet that say, I won't tell that there were Cheerios here if you don't. So these lonely nights become a much needed night of rest, for both me and the Dyson**. I'm not exactly sure why, but I feel like I must always be moving and doing when Ben's home. I know most women feel the same way. We don't veg out like guys anyway for the most part, but we work hard all day too, so I'm not sure why I can't just plop on the couch and recuperate without feeling a teensy bit guilty and wanting to prove just how busy I am every single second.

So with the night all to ourselves, we built a fort/bed, watched a Pixar classic and had popcorn for dinner. I didn't multi-task once. And when the kids went to bed I picked up a fashion magazine, that will do me no good whatsoever, if only to give me a momentary lift from the bouquet of Euphoria, Chance and something by Michael Kors scattered among the pages. I still can't resist the urge to do more than one thing at a time so I turn on the TV to catch up with my favorite billionaire and tend to the blog. New videos uploading at this very moment.

*Our neighborhood has an active neighborhood watch program so I feel safe, plus, what are the chances of being broken into while we're home a second time (probably just as good as having it happen once - but now i'm prepared)?

**Comes with the rental of the house. I have a Hoover that I LOVE, b/c it has a green light=clean/red light=dirty function, but the Dyson is an awesome machine that also provides visual cleaning confirmation with it's clear canister. Plus it uses no bags and it "never loses suction".

Big Love

I must say that I am fascinated by polygamy. Much as I am by the prison system, North Korea and the Amish, meaning, I don't want to actively participate in the lifestyle (although I could use an extra set capable hands now and then) but I will watch any show about it, no matter who is exploring the issue - Anderson Cooper, the WE channel, Dr. Phil's son or most recently Oprah and Lisa Ling (I think she is just the best journalist). I'm currently not so much interested in the child-bride, FLDS type of polygamy (although I did almost had Kit pull-over so I get a closer look at the town of Colorado City, AZ and it's ultra-modestly attired inhabitants and their extra-dark tinted car windows, when we were driving home from Lake Powell) as much as I am the modern, Big Love-esqe plural marriage (but not legally married), living in 30,000 sq. ft. homes with your 22 children and 5 flat screen TV's polygamy that has been featured in Newsweek as well as on Oprah this week. During which I spent the whole episode thinking to myself, please clarify that they are not Mormon, please don't just say FLDS because it could be misheard and please iterate that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints banned the practice in 1890, and maybe even mention that experts think there is a growing number of evangelical Christian and Muslim polygamists that may even exceed the number that describe themselves as Mormon. But they didn't. While watching I was thinking that the "sister-wives" they had on were pretty stylin ladies and that perhaps the competition of being one of many wives keeps you well-groomed, in shape and kinder to your spouse. One woman made a good point about how in Utah it is illegal to have more than one legally declared spouse but that there is no punishment for having a mistress or fathering children with multiple women, as long as you don't commit to them. But that was the extent of the good points. Oprah said that maybe they were just more highly evolved spiritual beings for being able to live this way because she just didn't get it. I am intrigued but neither do I.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

What happens in Hawaii...

is also happening in Texas. I just got an email from my dear friend, and former Maryland neighbor, Teresa. She has a ward chili/cornbread cook-off and needed a recipe for cornbread that I have that could ensure her a win, if the judges like their cornbread on the sweet side (I do). What is funny is that probably at about the same time she was sending her email, I was in the grocery store trying to figure out what side-dish I could bring to our ward's chili cook off when it hit me...Charlotte's (pre-nutritionist) cornbread.

So since it's just a matter of cutting and pasting I thought I would share it in case anyone else is having a fall festival chili-cook off or if you just want a cake-like slice of cornbread heaven.

Charlotte's Cornbread Recipe

Makes 9x 13 pan
(I like to do mine in a cast-iron skillet)

1 3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. buttermilk
4 eggs
2 c. yellow cornmeal
1 3/4 c. cake flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 c sour cream

Preheat oven to 350. Coast pan with spray or butter and sprinkle with sugar. In large bowl beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in buttermilk then eggs. In separate bowl combine dry ingredients. Add all at once w/ sour cream to batter and mix until just blended. Bake 40-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Substitution Note: If you don't have buttermilk on hand you can always add a tsp. of vinegar to regular milk and let it sit for 5 minutes and it mimics buttermilk. If you don't have cake flour you can use all-purpose less one tablespoon per cup called for. I've tried to make a baking powder substitution-concoction before and it is tricky it involves baking soda and an acid, ideally cream of tarter, but really, if you have cream of tarter on hand you probably have baking powder.

How do you know...

If a mechanic has actually done all the work on your car that you have paid for? I left the VW dealer $1400 poorer today and my car still runs the same as it did yesterday when I took it in for the oil change, ahem, 5000K service (they can charge more when it's called that), which is fine. What does this sum get you? New rear brakes, brake fluid flush, a valve gasket made of CORK and oh yeah, oil and filter.

When I asked to see the old, supposedly leaky gaskets, they had already been thrown in the big trash bin so what am I supposed to do except trust that they needed replacement.

They didn't even vacuum my car.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Blu Ribbon Cupcake Artist

BluDomain Contest Rules : Send a photo of your favorite colored" cupcakes in a plain white background. MUST be homemade. One cupcake must have our logo and one cupcake must have your age and one cupcake must have sprinkles and one cupcake must have a happy face. Place a photograph of you on the rest of the cupcakes.

Entries : Over 600

Only one can be victorious... Sara Westbrook !!

If you want to see some of her competition you can go to http://bludomain.com/blog.cfm and scroll down to see some of the other entries.

I know Sara has this on her blog too but I just thought it was too cool to not be repeated. Congrats on the win sister!

Tap tap tapping along.

I had already started documenting some of the outfits that miss A. likes to...no, insists on wearing in public but today just killed me. Being very independent and surprisingly helpful Avery has started getting herself in the car ready to go when she knows we are going somewhere. Sometimes she does so prematurely and has had to wait anywhere from 15-45 minutes, which is fine (we don't have sweltering heat here and she leaves the door open) except that I can't sign off on what she is wearing. Take today for example. We get to our first stop of the day, claims office at Schofield Barracks, and I hear a familiar click click click behind me and notice that it is not her black Sunday shoes but her tap shoes (or my tap shoes rather...from when I was her age) that she is wearing. This doesn't bother me, even when people are snickering, except that she can't even keep these on for a 30 minute tap class without complaining and I know we have a full days worth of errands and no other shoes in the car. Surprisingly, she makes it through a 3 hour wait at the VW dealer (for an oil change, that I had an appointment for, but that's a whole 'nother diatribe), a doctors appointment and dinner with dad. Here is a sampling of some of her oufits and shoe choices.

She also likes to dress her animal companions. This
one, she said, is going to soccer practice.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Kite Runner

I bought this book on a Friday evening and was finished on Saturday by the time the sun went down. Intriguing, yes. Did I like it? I'm not sure. I had to finish it to get it out of my life, plus there is no good place to put it down. The character development is thrilling but haunting. Disturbing even. I was left wanting to know more about the country, culture and politics of Afghanistan and more compassionate for those who have sought safety and normalcy in our country. My sister said it makes her think twice about foreigners working lesser jobs here, jobs they may have been forced to take despite keen intelligence. But it's still disturbing. I had a hard time finding anything in it I could read-aloud to Avery when she approached me in the middle of the night, wanting to know what had me holed up in a dark living room with only a book light. So I made up a story about kites and kids who run with them whipping about. I should have told her a story about an American Indian whose name was Kite Runner, because that's what I thought it was about before I read it.

Anyhow, I'm giving my copy away. It's definitely not something I need to subject myself to again. And I need to make room for Hosseini's next book anyway. Like I said it's disturbing but intriguing. If you are interested at a chance at my book raffle just leave a comment stating so. You have a week to comment. I'll have a drawing next Monday. I'll try to get it to the "winner" before the movie is out next month and everyone is talking about it and ruining the unexpected.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

We believe ...

in the same organization that existed in the primitive church. The sixth Article of Faith.

I got to teach Gospel Essentials today and got to choose my own topic so I decided to use my favorite (truthfully, the only one I ever liked) missionary discussion. I like this "lesson" because a) it utilizes visual aids - good for both the teacher and class members and b) it is a clear and concise introduction to what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is. And what that is, although similar in many ways, is not a Protestant church, but restored New Testament Christianity.

So the Cliffs Notes version of the lesson goes like this (stacking cups labeled with the bold words)... When CHRIST was on earth He established His church by REVELATION from our Heavenly Father, calling PROPHETS and APOSTLES who recorded His teachings in the SCRIPTURES. (Next Level) Christ and his apostles taught the Gospel which consisted of FAITH in Jesus Christ, REPENTANCE, BAPTISM and the conferring of the gift if the HOLY GHOST. (Next Two Levels) Other ordinances and practices taught and encouraged in Christ's church included PRAYER, FASTING, TITHING, SERVICE, SACRAMENT and then on the top level I put FAMILY, emphasizing the opportunity to be together temporally and eternally and the joy, love (and work) therein. The top layers can have any number of topics on them.
Then what happens...This was Miles' favorite part since he got to help me bring down the tower. With Christ's crucifixion and the subsequent martyrdom of the apostles (pull these cups out) the established church crumbles. Apostasy occurs. Over time with the help of the teachings recorded in the scriptures, spiritual promptings and desire to worship God, people begin to form churches again, taking bits that they remember, adapting them, with the best intention (i.e. - forms if baptism, law of tithing, how to pray) as they interpret what record they have, both written and passed down. Of course, councils ensue, more churches and philosophies form; resulting in many denominations and sects striving to bring glory to God.

Roger Williams founder of the first Baptist church in America said "There is no regularly constituted church of Christ on earth, nor any person qualified to administer any church ordinances; nor can there be until new apostles are sent by the Great Head of the Church for whose coming I am seeking" Had he only lived longer...

Fast forward to the 1800's and to a land of religious freedom. Joseph Smith, after divine visitation and commission, restores the priesthood and ordinances lost in the apostasy (Re-stack the cups, this time I make them all one level with Christ the cornerstone), and voila, the church of Christ is re-established on the earth today.

From that point you can talk more about any of the "cups" or topics that anyone has questions or comments about until you run out of time. It makes for good discussion, especially if you have class members from different religious backgrounds.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Birthday Scoop

The Cards

The Loot

The Day

Well, since Ben was going to be gone for Miles' bday we kicked off the celebration the night before, which was fine because our friend Souly from back home, was over, and technically it was the 18th in all of the other time zones (unfortunately between 9 and 9:30pm is M.'s self-imposed bedtime so we had to squeeze in a lot of celebration in a small window). Besides, I actually had to search through files and eventually through email archives to find out if he was indeed born on the 17th or 18th. So this was a good compromise in case I was wrong.

Our Internet had been down for the few days prior (turned out that the router needed to be reset - Isn't that the worst when you call tech. support and they slowly walk you through the steps of powering down your machine and restarting it and then the problem is resolved? And I'm supposed to have an advanced degree in tech. mgmt? ) so I wasn't going to be able to get on and get the recipe for the cupcakes I wanted to make, specifically the Magnolia Bakery recipe, but luckily I remembered that it was saved on our laptop from A.'s bday so I proceeded to make those, but I really wanted chocolate too so I just melted semisweet chips in a makeshift double boiler and poured it into half of the vanilla batter. I never was very good at the chemistry involved in baking. Or measuring for that matter. They came out more like brownies, but I never met a brownie I didn't like so it worked for me! No frosting needed for those. Which was a good thing because trying to make frosting in Hawaii is a challenge. What I once considered a blessing - butter softens really fast when you don't have air conditioning - is a bane when you want fluffy perfect buttercream, not melted butter and crunchy sugar with a touch of poisonous but occasionally forgivable blue food coloring that won't stay put on your cupcake no matter how hard you try. But in the end who cares, they got eaten. Mostly by Avery and myself, surprise surprise.

Miles was mostly thrilled with his cards and envelopes. I had to move quickly to save the checks that were sent. Thanks to some kind relatives he now has a thriving bank account of his very own. Even though the celebration and singing happened the night before, I couldn't not make his bday a special one so we went to the zoo where he had a great time chasing peacocks and petting goats (maybe he has an affinity for these creatures like his dad). When Ben got home and eventually rose from the dead on Saturday Avery said to him "I'm sorry you couldn't join us for Miles' birthday dad" which I found amusing because she said "join us". So polite.

All in all, Miles' favorite bday gift is getting to ride forward in his car seat. He really thinks he is getting away with something.

But, when your hair starts to look like Jim Halperts, you know it's time for a cut.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


So I tried to pick my favorite ONE picture for every month of Mr. M's life as a bday tribute but I just couldn't choose. We love you Miles B.!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Spoke too soon.

About Ben's call schedule being not too bad. He got his new schedule. He is only on overnight call on Miles' bday and on Halloween. That's all, no big deal.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blue Angels

On Saturday we went to see the air show at the nearby Marine Base. I decided to take the kids because for the previous two days we had been getting buzzed by the jets as they were practicing. I thought a missle was coming straight for our house it was so loud. The sonic boom even set off my neighbors truck alarm. Unfortunately, by the time you realize that you are, in fact, not under attack they are out of sight. Miles likes planes, Avery likes going inside the static displays and hearing about her Great Gpa Big Al who flew those big planes and I like the fact that two of the Blue Angel pilots are women so we went and had a great time. It reminded me of going to see the Air Force Thunderbirds at March AFB when we were kids. Here are some pics and a video I took. The footage I have of the Blue Angels would make even the sturdiest sailor nauseous it's so shaky (those planes are FAST) so I included a little video I found of them online, it's a special treat for all of you Van Halen fans out there. It's crazy how close together they fly (18 inches at times) at those speeds (up to 700 mph), it's no wonder that of the 226 pilots they have had that there have been over 20 deaths in action. Yikes.

Husband for Hire?

Ben hasn't had all that much overnight call since we've been here, making his internship somewhat painless so far, but of course, true to Finagle's Law (a corollary to Murphy's which adds the caveat —at the worst possible moment) disaster struck. We had already had a pipe burst in our backyard and I was extremely glad that Ben was around to troubleshoot that one (albeit an additional $50 in water bills later).

Again it was a plumbing issue, a rather disgusting one, but at least one I could maybe handle, except that we were on our way out the door to the air show. I ran into the kids bathroom to grab something and noticed that the bathtub was filled with water and gunk that looked like mud, or sewage, but didn't smell too terribly bad. Then I see a piece of chicken floating by, next to what at one time was recognizable as zucchini. And, having just been cleaning out the fridge, I realized that it was the contents of the garbage disposal. Unsure of what to do and not even having Ben's pager number we went to the show (and had a great time, see above). When I came back the water was drained, leaving quite a mess. Still not prepared to deal with it I sprinkled baking soda all over the offending contents (thank you Costco for those ginormous bags), which then sparked the thought to pour vinegar on it and maybe loosen the junk in the drain but most definitely would be fun to watch. And then, although I'm not generally an emotional eater, I went for the pint of Dove Mint-Fudge Ice Cream and gathered my thoughts.

Now, had I been in Maryland, I would have immediately called Joseph Kamerath, construction worker turned doctor and home improver extraordinaire (the ideal home teacher if there ever was one). His drain auger (commonly known as a plumbing snake but I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea) has been in many a household in the Seneca Ward, saving much grief and plumbing bills along the way. But, not an option for me so I turned to Bob Vila instead. Googling "garbage disposal contents in bathtub" came up with few options, and I was sincerely hoping that no one would say not to pour vinegar and baking soda down the drain cause I really really wanted to do that. I found out that that would indeed be okay and was an environmentally, health friendly option to Drano so I went for it. The "show" was not as impressive as I had pictured in my mind and I had little hope that it would make an impact and I chased it with several gallons of boiling water (I knew that nifty quick water boiler that I got in Australia nearly a decade ago would come in handy someday). It looks like it's draining and then I notice a black checker piece among the gunk. We knew something had been causing some draining issues in the past week and I can just pictures Mr. Miles secretly carrying the checker in his mouth into the tub, removing the drain strainer and seeing if it would fit.
Problem solved, although I'm still not sure how the garbage disposal got roped into all of this.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

It's a girl!!

Brady and Theresa are parents to a new 8lb 5 oz. little girl
Lily Mae Westbrook
Check out Theresa or Sara's blogs for more pictures of my darling neice.

I wasn't actually invited...

We were down in Waikiki and this couple was getting wedding photos taken. At first we thought it was going to be an actual ceremony but it was just a cool photo shoot. Her dress was amazing in person. I wasn't all that close but here are my sneaky snapshots of the event.

Oops,I think she caught me taking her picture.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Kid Nation

So even with the two TV-free days a week (which we are actually sticking to and sometimes even exceeding our time spent unglued) we may still watch too much. Avery has decided that she can pause real life, I don't mind it so much if I'm reading her a story and she says "can you pause it for a minute" then she has to take a bathroom break or put on a princess accessory but when I am just talking to her about something or instructing her about something she needs to do and she holds out an imaginary remote control and says "pause" which is usually followed by me disregarding this action which leads her to huff "I PAUSED YOU MOM". Well then we have a problem. I do find myself wanting to rewind the radio to hear something that Dr. Laura said that I missed because she was drowned out by questions from the backseat like "Is body language good or bad?" or "Girl's can only be possible right mom?" Huh? But often it is moments with my children that I want to be able to rewind for myself or replay for Ben later.

That said, we just got done watching tonight's Kid Nation episode, which I found very interesting. I have found the whole series to be interesting so far because I believe that we can stifle childrens potential by doing too much for them and this show reinforces that belief. If you haven't seen it or heard of it, the basic premise is that 40 kids ages 9-14 are dropped off in an abandonded ghost town and have to cook, clean, set up shops, run a government and make decisions all on their own. They rally around each other, offer what is generally constructive criticism, drown their sorrows in a bottle of root beer at the saloon and they are making it work.

Of course they cast intellegent kids from "varying" backgrounds (they probably all come from middle-class families) but there are bullies, pagent girls and the undoubtedly homeschooled, so it makes for good television. So what impressed me tonight was when the kids won their challenge they were given the choice of getting a miniature golf course (currently there only entertainment is games they make up themselves and spending money they earn on candy and soda) or a collection of religous books. The majority ruled and they got...the religious books! Not only did they choose to get them but they were genuinely excited to read them and share and compare their religion with their friends. They were finding similarities between the Torah, the Koran and the Bible instead of focusing on the differences which is what we adults tend to do.

Since it aired I have wondered if my kids (when they are older of course...although A. would probably be just fine w/out me for a month) would make me proud or embarrassed if they were in that situation w/ little guidance. But TV show or not, don't we hope that we have trained our children to make good choices and be contributing citizens?

One more related Avery story, I was watching the show "I Wanna Look Like a High School Cheerleader Again" on CMT, at the recommendation of my mother (yes, the same mother who only let us watch 1/2 hour of TV a week growing up) and the women were saying stuff like "If I have to get on that scale I'm going to die" "If I haven't lost at least 5 pounds this week I will just die" etc etc. Then came the elimination scene, marked by somber, foreboding music where the host informed them that one of them would be eliminated. They huddled around each other for one last pep talk and Avery looked at me with wide eyes and said "Which one of them has to die?"

Monday, October 8, 2007

Some like it hot.

Bikram Yoga. What was I thinking? I don't even like yoga all that much to begin with. But something about the idea of 90 minutes of intense postures in 105 degree heat and 60% humidity was intriguing to me. As I approached the yoga studio (which happens to be one of the only buildings in Hawaii with a heater) I was excited, nervous and a little bit uncomfortable in my barely there black spandex (lycra?) shorts and tank top. I tightly clutched the ten dollar bill that would gain me entry into this unknown territory and wished that I had brought another five for a reward smoothie after class (little did I know that I would not be able to eat anything after that torture, even if it was icy cold and came through a straw). I was 15 minutes early, like the website instructed, and my fears of being under-dressed were quickly allayed as the drenched, but glowing, bikini-clad (yes, bikini) beach bodies that had just finished a class exited the classroom. I could now focus my worries on potentially not having brought enough water to sustain me since my single, but full, 16 oz bottle, suddenly seemed inadequate next to their empty gallon and multi-liter containers.

The room stunk. I guess pretty people can produce stinky sweat, just the same as anyone else. But I blame the men donning the euro-look speedo shorts and the instructor, who also falls into that category and had been teaching sessions back to back (to back). But by now I had paid,
signed a full page waiver that included language like "shall not hold Bikram College of India liable for physical injury or psychological damage that may occur" (I openly laughed at the psych. damage part but the head "yogi " was not amused at my amusement. Or maybe I was merely misinterpreting his achievement of enlightenment as indifference and grim stoicism).

Anyhow, the windows were being shut and the heater cranked up, the point of no return. I must say that I had been rather pleased seeing the collective physique of the 4:30 class. It gave me hope that this could just be the best way I could spend an hour and a half at this point in my oh so close quest to get back to pre-baby constitution. But looking around the room, I'd say that the 6:30 class was clearly the second string. Beginners perhaps...or so I hoped, until I heard two comparing the number of years they had been Bikram devotees. The instructor (who looks like Moby) leads us in a set of cleansing breaths and...what happened next includes psychological damage that I have clearly had to bury because I don't remember much except that I was soaking wet and dripping within minutes of beginning, luckily I enjoy sweating when exercising, the skin around my ankles began to peel off at one point when we were doing a posture that involved maintaining a tight grip on the lower leg (pedicure and a workout all in one!) and I thought that I might die, or at the very least pass out at any moment. The clock that I was watching incessantly, reminded me of the one directly on the wall in front of me in the hospital room when I was having Miles. Or maybe it was the pain and intensity of the yogic discipline that took me back to an equally painful time in my existence.

An hour in, I was really hoping that the last thirty minutes was going to serve as a time to meditate, preferably in a supine position. No such luck. Finally, it was over and the room began to cool down. 95 degrees never felt so good! Head spinning, I quickly thanked Moby and got outside. While everyone else was chatting about going for tabbouleh or hummus or something, I hobbled to the car. Paused before I got in, because I wasn't so sure I wouldn't hurl at that point (now I know why they recommend against eating 3 hours hours prior to the class, and grateful I hadn't) and slowly drove home.

It's taken me a few days to be able to even write about the experience because I felt so awful after. And not awful like, sore. Awful, like the day after having a massage when you haven't been drinking enough water. Like all the junk came to the surface.

I am proud of myself for pushing through each posture and challenging my body in a way I hadn't before, but I can't decide if I want to go back. I've taken challenging/hard classes before (Budokon was my nemesis and painful addiction before). During this class and immediately after, no way would I consider it. But now, I am left wanting to overcome (transcend maybe) the discomfort and rid myself of this weakness in me that I didn't know existed. Plus they say that by practicing yoga you need less sleep. That'd be nice.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Like Sister Like Brother

Not only do they have the same hairline...

As heard at the dinner table.

Avery, can you please say the prayer for the food.

Heavenly Father,

Bless this food so we can be healthy and strong. Bless mom. Help us to be good.
{with fervor} And get out of here satan! That the devil may go so we can live in peace.


I'm not sure where that last line came from.
Must be the Baptist in her.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

I never met a book I didn't like.

That's actually not true. I hated being forced to read The Sound and the Fury in high school and the term stream-of-consciousness evokes a shudder ever since (unless it's my own, of course). But for the most part, I enjoy reading a variety of authors and genres. Or at least I used to. Now I'm lucky to skim through a magazine article uninterrupted, much less escape to another place and time compliments of someone's literary artistry. I now turn to the good old boob-tube (why is it called that?) for entertainment and enlightenment because small hands cannot disturb or destroy it as well as the more important factor being that I can feed, diaper, fold laundry, exercise etc. at the same time.

I love the idea of sitting in bed, propped up by pillows in the soft glow of the side table lamp, or even better, one mounted on the wall behind me, engrossed in a tale (and since I'm fantasizing, I'm also wearing cute p.j.'s, the children are tucked in, and the kitchen is clean). I always imagined that staying home with the children would provide plenty of time to read and here I am, nearly four years later, still waiting for the chance to pick up the latest New York Times bestseller instead of Brown Bear, Brown Bear for the umpeenth time. Even the days of reading on an airplane, gone, especially now that the FDA condemns the use of antihistamines in children (disclaimer-I have personally never drugged my child, although it is tempting). I'm not a bathroom reading type, but if I were, I wouldn't be alone long enough to read the foreword. This is sad to me because I come from a reading family. Everyone always "has their nose in a book". Growing up, we were only allowed 30 minutes of TV a week (I couldn't wait for Full House - TGIF!), so reading was a natural hobby. Although hardly fine literature, I loved The Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley Twins as well as the Indian in the Cupboard series and Little House on the Prairie! My mom, who knows best, would pay us ($1) to read classics and books she thought we should read. I'm thankful for that.

So what's all this leading up to? Well, I'm reading again! Not just reading, but devouring, and I'm so excited. Two factors contributed to this. Firstly, my friend April, who has two children, still reads...as I learned from from her blog, which in turn inspired me to attend our wards bookclub meeting. I wasn't sure if I would like reading what they suggested so I read the excerpts of the book they would be discussing on Amazon and went, hoping at the least to be able to meet new friends and find some other adults to talk to. Bonus - a selection of goodies from the Portuguese bakery. But the real bonus was the selection of books they have been reading or have slated to read. A couple I have read or am reading, and a few have been made into movies or are being made, hopefully well. I will be commenting on books as I read them but would love to know what you're reading, or raving about, or if you have any comments on the selections below. Meanwhile, Brown Bear Brown Bear what do you see...