Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Oh, brother!

We're expecting a baby in May and found out that it will be a boy.  Every expense is on hold until we've paid for the baby and bought a mini-van.  One nice thing is that we don't really need a minivan for a while.  With the baby coming right at the end of school, and P able to give G rides to school, we're good until September, or even later.  Even traveling to G-ville, we may as well take 2 cars.  The fuel efficiency of our 2 cars is about the same as a van.  Whenever I see someone driving a big vehicle by themselves, I'm like "what the?"  We're misers, P and I.  Going to a van is hard to swallow.  But the kids will love it. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Learning strategies

   Sometimes I look back and wonder how I ever went to college let alone graduate in 4 years from a program most took 5 years to complete.  I did not have any study habits.  And sometimes I wonder what I could have achieved if I had known basic things about my own way of learning.
 I cannot process sound and read at the same time.  This Sunday there was a powerpoint presentation.  I could understand the meaning if I was myself the one asked to read the slide to the group.  When others were reading, I could not.  I could look away from the text, and listen.  I've learned from experience that the best way for me to learn is to read and take notes.   Then from those notes to organize the information into some sort of table, outline, or other graphic way. 

If I had known this in 11th grade, when my AP American History teacher put her lecture on transparencies and then read it to us, things would have been different.  I loved that teacher.  I felt so bad that my inability to absorb the information seemed, to me, to reflect disinterest in the subject...  Man, if I had understood the power of making a timeline!  Not just as busy work, but as an essential way for my mind to organize the information, I would have made one for every chapter, period etc...
I really enjoy participating in musical groups.  I sort of enjoy attending music events.  I very rarely listen to music for enjoyment.  Being a music teacher, people often assume I'm really into music.  Actually I really like to make music, but am not really interested in "music".  I can't listen to music for enjoyment because my mind reacts to it too much.  And thinking back, I actually hate going to live music events as an audience member because I'm always bothered by the noise other people make. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013


I feel like such a great mom!  My friend posted about stop motion films.  So I decided to take G through the process of making one, hoping to score the technology fair prize ($50 target gift card last year.)  Hello!  Not only did he make this film completely by himself, it even has a story line!  I wanted him to do something good for the technology fair, but I also wanted it to be his own work.  He even uses his hand as a prop, aka giant plant.  Way to go Buddie!

a first

My friend posted a stop motion movie her students are making and I thought that would be fun for G to do with his legos.  So I made a short little movie myself, having him do some of each step.  Ta-da!  my own first stop motion movie at age 33.  G is outside making his own right now.  Kids growing up in this wild world of technology...

This weekend I took G and M to the carnival downtown.  We had a lot of fun and it was easier this year for the kids to decide what rides to spend their 10 ticket.  They seemed to have a different company providing rides.  I didn't notice so many pictures of women covered up with cardboard. 

I experienced camera shame as I raised my super awesome camera to video the kids.  Everyone has a smart phone.  That's ok.  Later that day when I pulled out my $10 tracphone to call a kid's mom, the kid exclaimed "That phone is tiny!"  I replied that it was small because it was just a phone.

We are so blessed.  What's funny to me is that P has an iPhone, but he just uses it as a phone.

Friday, February 15, 2013


I'm cheap.  I've never bought G a box of store valentines to give out.  But it's more than that.  It's that I'd rather make cute cookies for him to give out, than to pay (probably cheaper) for store valentines.

This year I used the cookie press my sister gave me years ago, and made pink heart cookies.  Then I used a blender to make frosting, which is to say that it was really good thick frosting.  And I made really cute sandwich heart cookies.  Wrapped in cellophane and a sticker with each name, it was cute.

So I got to have the fun of creating, and you don't get that from buying things from a store.  I'm pretty much addicted to creating things.  Even when it is cheaper to buy them from the store, I like to make it. 

G needed new shorts this year (hurray he's growing!) and since I couldn't find any shorts at the thrift store I bought 4T pants and altered them.  Sheesh these were some wide leg pants for 4 year olds.  So while I would have liked to have found shorts that fit him for $1 each, I'm happy I got to alter pants I found for $1 each.

I've just cleared my life of 3 big projects that were hanging over.  I need to be careful about that.  On Monday I did a lot of sewing yet there is still a rather large mound on my sewing table.

I was reading the Carolyn Hax column for Valentines day and each time she referred to "shoebox" I associated this with the Hallmark Shoebox collection.  Eventually I realized that maybe they meant a literal shoebox that would be used as a valentines mailbox.  In my childhood we mostly made big construction paper heart mailboxes.  Geoff always has a paper bag decorated to function as a mailbox.  Then I had to laugh as I realized that I had actually sent him to school with is valentine cookies neatly tucked inside a shoebox.  His one and only shoe box from his first ever pair of new shoes.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Mom, are you forgetting something?

Someday I'll write a touching book on spirituality, parenting and survival.  We've had a rather unusual experience with this little prince so far.  And we have been so blessed.  I would want to read a book like that because I'm a little curious at it myself : )

These kids are golden.  I can't believe how good and teachable they are.  We've really hit the jackpot.  A few years ago M would always ask for me to "Tell me some of the ways you know you love me."  It was a lovely opportunity for us to share some love and for me to shape her view of my actions as loving.  She was asking, so I told her, that things like food and clothing showed love.  Also, being strict showed love because, as I tell her now, I love her too much to let her grow up thinking it's ok to be mean to people. 

G had a catch phrase last week, "Mom, are you forgetting something?"  It became something of a joke and it gave me pause to think about his needs that were getting pushed aside by the urgent demands of the girls.  He even recorded it onto the tape recorder and had a blast putting it on the counter and hiding as it played in louder than normal tones "Mom, are you forgetting something?"

I love these beautiful children.  I love P and the careful way he showers us all with love.  The children are so blessed to have such an adoring father.  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Today I went to publix and using the coupon magic from this website was able to spend $45 and "save" $40.  Which is not to say I only spent $5.  I spent $45 on $85 worth of products that I usually wouldn't buy, but that is still tasty and my family will enjoy.  It's funny how much we get caught up in the "saved" number.  

I know 2 mega coupon queens.  I don't know what they do when they run out of rice, or flour.  There are a lot of things that never have coupons because they are staples. 

2 weeks ago when I bought 20 boxes of cereal for $13 with the help of my Jacksonville coupon friend, I should have just gotten all Raisin Bran.  I'm already sick of the other varieties I bought.  P will never get sick of Rasin Bran.  So that is what I should have bought.

I am going to try and do the coupon thing.  What a defeatist attitude.  I am weekly going to go though and buy the items that we will eat, that I can use coupons and sales, to get for cheaper than I would at Save a lot.  But I'm still going to go get flour at Save a lot when I run out...

Monday, February 4, 2013

good things

The kids decided it was time to wash dad's car.  Much to our surprise, it is actually shiny now.  Good job!
When G was a baby we decided not to let him have the sacrament.  Most people feed the sacrament to their babies before they can even reach for the cup.  I even heard the reasoning that the child needed to practice.  It has been slightly hard for the kids to watch over the years as other kids took the sacrament and they had to wait until they were baptized.  I was in college before I understood the connection between baptism and the sacrament.  The sacrament is a renewal of your baptism covenants.  How often had I made mistakes and struggled with guilt, wishing I could be baptized again.   Ignorantly taking the sacrament, not getting it that I could be forgiven if I would take advantage of something I didn't event get enough to take for granted?

I don't know how I missed this simple doctrine.  Perhaps it was the emphasis on how baptism makes you clean and you have a clean slate.  I don't know if I took the sacrament from infancy...  

G got baptized and then it was stake conference.  He was sad to miss his first week to take the sacrament.  So yesterday as I sat by him and saw his face when he got to take it for the first time, it was beautiful.  He knew how special it was. 

I like to read the Washington Post Advice column.  It satisfies the voyer in me without having to deal with facebook.  Today someone wrote in asking how to help their budding perfectionist child avoid the same anxiety and stress they had gone through.  It gave me pause.  I get on my kids case a lot. 

M often changes her mind after I've produced the original request.  Am I teaching her that she's not allowed to change her mind?  I try to emphasize that she needs to think things through before asking someone to put forth the effort of making things.  

lP has a habit of saying "I can't do it" and I'm trying to say "Keep trying" before I jump in.  She also likes to say "Perfect"...

One thing our kids hear over and over again "Different families have different rules".  This saves my sanity daily.  I hope it will train them, as bigger choices come along, to accept that their parents aren't going to change their decision based on what other families are doing.  It doesn't matter that XXX is dating when she's 14, just like it didn't matter that she was in gymnastics.  Different families have different rules.