Saturday, May 28, 2011


Apparently those of you who get my blog via email got an edited email that made it look like Nathanael swore when he was designing computer games.

That wasn't me inserting four asterisks where four letters had been. I spelled out exactly what he said, and it was a word with two "p"s and two "o"s. I guess feedburner won't burn feeds with that word--maybe it's opposed to words that deal with bodily functions, I guess.  Makes me want to type a real swear word just to see what it does to that.....but I won't. (My kids read this blog, after all....)

To read what he really said, you can look here:

Also, I've been told the posts get truncated when they arrive via email when you read them on your smart phone. Just fyi.

Did I just read that?

Regarding a rule that would crack down on for-profit colleges (especially ones with high debt among students): "Melanie Sloan of the liberal watchdog group Citizens For Responsibility and Ethics in Washington notes it is "a regulation that would affect only for-profit colleges, not non for-profit colleges."  Rep. Rob Andrews, D-N.J., thinks he may know why. "I think there is a bias against for-profit schools that has informed this rule." "
Read more:

Ya think? That's pretty smart brainwork there. Maybe he's a politician? And she just loves those negatives....

Did I just read that?

"Whiteley said anyone interested in the effort can call him at 303-888-8698 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 303-888-8698 end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 303-888-8698 end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 303-888-8698 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or email him at"

I think I'll email.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Computer game design....2 year old style

Nathanael has become very interested in computer game design. He's 2 years old, but he's adept at playing Nintendo and computer games--mostly platformers. I'm not that into letting kids play first-person shooters or mmprpgs or anything like that. But he plays Mario games, Kirby games, and Pacman World games with abandon.

Lately, when he's been drawing pictures with crayons, he narrates what he's drawing (which is good because it looks like lines and wobbly shapes to me). "This is the hole Mario falls in. Here is Mario's house. Please draw me a balloon Mario can escape in...."

This afternoon, as I was trying to wake up, I heard a sleepy little Nathanael narrating the intro dialogue to a new game, apparently based on a clean-up game on pbskids with Curious George, but with Nathanael's own twist:

"Yuck! There's poop all over the house! Can you help me clean it up?"

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Did I just read that?

I don't think Fox News believes in copy editors:

FIRST line of a story:

"Elizabeth Smart told her kidnapper that she will have a good life despite what he did to her moments before he was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison in the Salt Lake City, Utah federal court."Read more:

What exactly did he do right before they sentenced him?

Now we'll play "Spot the misplaced apostrophe." Hint:  it isn't in a place where people usually get confused, like its/it's.
Second sentence: "Smart, who spoke briefly in court, told Brian David Mitchell that she know's he knew what he did to her was wrong."

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Some random thoughts I don't have the energy to develop right now

Wandering the net and I discovered:

Someone is doing another Mormon Musical. Here's my question: Why is it not only okay, but popular to mock Mormons? And what are they mocking us for? Apparently for believing that life should be happy and that family is important. I guess other people consider that naive? They don't WANT to be happy? Or they really believe it's not actually even possible? I don't get this. If we were ANY other race or religion, this would not be acceptable. But we're Mormon, so it's okay, right? Because we're just going to turn the other cheek?

At the same time, the debate is ongoing: It's not okay to marginalize homosexuals. (But it's okay to not only marginalize, but Mock Mormons? Really?)  I agree with that point--not okay to marginalize human beings. But it's smoke and mirrors. The real debate is freedom of belief--is it possible for two people with diametrically opposed beliefs to co-exist? It's the old irresistible cannonball and immovable post issue, in some ways. This fight is NOT about marginalizing gay people. This fight is about defending our right (on both sides) to believe something someone else finds reprehensible. And, unfortunately, religious people are not allowed to defend their side. Because religion is persona non grata in American life anymore. Why? I don't know.

The issue nobody can talk about because religion is persona non grata is that NOTHING we do is truly going to make the homosexual populace feel happy. They're trying to legislate us into that by legislating out our religions. Banish all the religions. Make the moral minority (under their definition of "moral") the dominant force in America today (vs the majority, who are religious and ALL being marginalized by the press lately), and they still won't be happy. Why? Alma 41:10.

I find it amazingly, sadly ironic that we openly, aggressively condemn other countries for allowing their citizens to persecute people because of their religions. But when it happens here, in the land of the free, we don't just look away. The popular culture (which I don't think actually represents the majority beliefs, but still controls the majority's actions) actually has a "serves them right!" attitude and openly HELPS the persecution instead of condemning it. But only if the persecuted are being persecuted for their religion. Instead of saying, "Hey, knock it off!" we give these people awards!

Other random thought (all the others appear to have been connected after all!):

I find it amusing that we, culturally (not individually), avoid having children and then, when they do come along, basically institutionalize them (in daycares) so we adults can all go out and act like children!

The Peter Pan approach to population ecology isn't sustainable. Culturally, we've got this weird, hedonistic, ego-centric thing going. We've elevated the individual so high in our values that we've not only rejected religion, but basic biology.  We're no longer searching for truth or happiness, but for stimulation of all kinds (physical, mental, etc), even at the expense of happiness, cultural stability, or anything that will give us cultural longevity. Are we all Nero, fiddling while Rome burns?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Free downloads of new songs

Tim is so anxious for people to hear his new stuff that he's willing to give it away free if you'll listen to it and tell him what you think--either a single song or the whole album--in a review (which you can email him, so he's the only one who sees it). He obviously wants to know what you like, but he also wants to know what you don't like. Good, bad, and ugly. He really wants to know.

And he really REALLY wants everyone to listen.

See, we've been having a dickens of a time getting people to listen to the new stuff because everyone is expecting moosebutter. But this couldn't be farther from moosebutter! It's nothing like moosebutter.

So have a listen. Please.

You can listen free here:

or here:

or here:

And here are instructions for getting it to download free:

If you like it, email Tim or message him on facebook and say so. If your friends would like it, please share!

This is new stuff and it's VERY VERY cool.  All vocal, but it's not "a cappella"--not like you've heard before.

And if you want proof that it's all vocal, come to one of the upcoming shows, in Colorado and Utah, but he's working on booking them everywhere: or for a listing.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Did I just read that?

Best quote I've read in a long LOOOOONNNG time: "It takes full effect in October, when federal agencies must start writing plainly in all new or substantially revised documents produced for the public. The government will still be allowed to write nonsensically to itself."

The government writers are now instructed: ""Federal writers are not supposed to be creating great literature," the guidelines say. "You are communicating requirements, how to get benefits, how to stay safe and healthy, and other information to help people in their lives. While there is no problem with being expressive, most federal writing has no place for literary flair. People do not curl up in front of the fire with a nice federal regulation to have a relaxing read.""

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Did I just read that?

"4. Unused Stockings 
Create a chic shrug by taking a pair of tights or stockings and cutting off the feet (or use a pair of footless tights to save a step). Place arms where legs would normally go and—voila!—you’ve created a sleek spring alternative to a shawl or cardigan. Take it a step further by cutting slashes into the fabric, à la Monique Lhuillier’s ballerina-inspired fall 2009 collection. Photo: Imaxtree"

And, pray tell, what do you do with your HEAD? I mentally followed these instructions and discovered there was that seam across the crotch of the tights going right down my face.  Reminded me of the time my Grandma put a stocking over her face and then pulled up.......

Friday, May 20, 2011

Author Bios

So, I've mentioned before at least one author bio that was WAY off the mark--into the realm of offensive.

I consistently find LDS authors don't quite "get" what an appropriate bio is (partially, I think, because their audience expects information that isn't really appropriate, and mostly because the publisher they all work with--Covenant--is probably insistent on it).

So I'm always on the lookout for GOOD author bios, to give balance (and in case I ever get to teach again).

This one wins:

"With a British mother and an American father, Heather Rigby has been a nomad her entire life. She loves reading and good quality European chocolate, preferably at the same time. And, as a stay at home mom of two young daughters, she uses her degree in Criminology to solve serious mysteries, like why her cell phone keeps turning up in the fridge."

Also, her picture was great.

Also her article had  me laughing until I cried. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Did I just read that?

"Difficulty remembering names; This often gets worse before, during and after menopause"

Well, that pretty much covers a woman's whole life.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Unnatural "beauty"

I've been doing a lot of fashion research, trying to nail down the right "look" for Tim's groups. I also skim news and pictures of stars, looking at the same things (even though I think it's gross that we take performers, turn them into characters in the cultural story, and then treat them as no human ought to be treated).

I've noticed a few things that are mildly distressing because they are completely unnatural for women, and they are being pushed as the definition of "beauty".

For example:

Women who are in their 20s or 30s who are as thin as and shaped like 13 year olds, but with the breasts of a nursing mother. Minus the baby.  Women are not shaped like this. It's even more extreme than the Barbie Doll shape. Barbie's unnatural, but at least she has hips!

Orange skin. Seriously--who thought this was natural? It's only subtly orange, and I'm pretty sure it's supposed to be a "healthy" tan, but it's ugly. Humans come in all shades of brown naturally, and all of them are beautiful, from the palest cream to the darkest chocolate. But orange is not one of the shades humans naturally grow in. Why do we put orange makeup on our faces and orange-tone paint on our skin?

Dark tans on normally pale women. Yuck. Looks terrible. Who decided this was "beautiful"?

That one nose. You've seen it all over and probably not noticed, but you should. Scroll though pictures of stars and starlets and you'll notice they all have the same nose. Not only is it unnatural for two people to have completely identical noses, the nose they all have is one that doesn't appear in nature. Who decided this was beautiful?

Processed hair. Some colored hair is so natural that it still is soft and graceful. I'm not opposed to that. Some blow-dried, permed, straightened, curled hair is truly beautiful. It's not that. It's the hair that's so messed with it looks scratchy and uncomfortable to touch. Hair that has been bleached to an unnatural shade of blonde. Hair that is so full of goop that it stands up at unnatural angles. Bi-colored hair in different colors (black and white? really?). I actually find oddly-colored hair (blue, pink, purple) more attractive than what a lot of people do to their heads in the name of "beauty".

Racoon eyes. What are we trying to do, look like cartoon characters? Human eyes are outlined--by lashes. Not by charcoal on the upper and lower lids. It really isn't pretty, no matter how many stars do it.

I'm not opposed to makeup, but I think makeup should enhance women's natural beauty, not try to transform them into dolls or cartoons. So when I see women with lipstick on that is paler than a natural lip color, I wonder why they do that. It's really ugly. Especially when paired with racoon eyes.

I don't think it's a favor to women in general, and to our daughters in specific, that we accept these plastic, misshapen, discolored women as "beautiful."  Healthy women have to do very little, actually, to look truly beautiful. It's too bad we don't train our eyes to see this natural beauty all around us and instead train all these true beauties to think they have to be something unnatural in order to be acceptable.

It's like we're telling the world that cheap silk roses are so much better than the real thing!

Wondering why women do this:

I see all the time on facebook grown women saying things like, "Love me some Colin Firth," or "Gotta get my Colin Firth Fix" or other equally gushing/lustful statements about popular figures, especially Mr. Firth and the actors/characters in the Twilight series movies.  These are not teeny boppers. These are mostly not twenty-something singles. These are thirty-something, married women, openly, droolingly lusting over a 50-year-old married man who has three children (who happened to play a Jane Austen character that they all are in love with) or a 19-year-old werewolf kid.

I always brushed it off as something that makes me uncomfortable. But today a thought occurred to me: What do their husbands feel when these women make statements like that publicly?

I asked Tim, and he said, "If thirty-seven year old men said about Bella what thirty-seven year old women say about her boyfriend, the men would be put in jail. And yet women talk like that all the time and it is culturally condoned."

Honestly, if Tim said publicly on facebook or Twitter, "Oh. My. Gosh. Katy Perry. Sooooooo hot." I would be really really hurt. It would be a huge blow to my sense of worth, and it would tear down my ability to trust in the security of our relationship. It would be a VERY damaging thing. And yet, women do this to their husbands all the time.  Why is that okay?

I don't think it IS okay.

Jesus said, "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." Matthew 5:28.  And you know, he didn't add, "But it's really good if a woman looks on a man to lust after him because it's a kind of bonding thing for all women to wish they could kiss the same man who happens to be married to someone else, or even one who is too young to marry."

Not only do I think it's not something men enjoy hearing their wives say, I don't think it's healthy for kids to hear their moms talking like that. What would that teach them? That you don't really love their father and the marriage could be over any minute? That's not something you want kids to think....Honestly, I NEVER heard my mother praise the physical appearance of a man other than my dad. If I had heard something like that, I would have spent my whole childhood nervous, unsure of whether my parents loved each other or not.

I think some things are best left not only unsaid, but unthought. And certainly not condoned by our culture.

Something I learned this weekend:

If you talk bad about someone else, it damages YOUR reputation more than theirs.

Just observing.

Benji says,

Watching me cutting Tim's hair, Benji suddenly said, "Mom, you have gray hair, too. That makes you creepy!"

Tim and I both stifled laughs.

(For the record, I have no gray hairs yet. Where did he get that?!)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Turkish Delight, revisited

So, we're reading Narnia again.

And, naturally, the kids wanted to try Turkish Delight again.

Last time was an unmitigated disaster.

But I learned a few things last time. The most important was that Turkish Delight is just another name for one of my mom's old favorite treats: Aplets and Cotlets. (Look up the history of the candy and you'll see I pegged it right on the money: is the original name of Turkish Delight; or see it here:

So I looked up "Turkish Delight" recipes again. More of the same that was so absolutely disgusting last time. Recipes that involve three things I didn't want to deal with: a cup of cornstarch in one 9x9 pan of candy (yuck!), delicate rosewater trying to mask the starchy taste (not a chance, plus I don't have any), and an hour of stirring involved in the process.

So I got smart: I looked up recipes for Aplets and Cotlets instead.

Bingo! Easy, fast recipe that ended up tasting great:

A few notes: We used blueberry pomegranate juice (find it in the freezer section at the grocery in concentrated form in plastic cans). I think you could use any flavor of juice you wanted. Cherry would be superb. I boiled it with the sugar as instructed. But then when we added the cornstarch/lemon juice mixture (I had no lime juice, so I used lemon juice for that amount, too), it immediately gelled when it hit the hot juice. I've never seen cornstarch do that before, so I fished it all out and made a new batch with a significantly larger amount of lemon juice. You could use water. Make it thinnish and pourable. I used 3 packets of unflavored gelatin, and this worked marvelously. You do have to stir it constantly for the 10 minutes mentioned because it thickens faster on the bottom of the pot (into an honest-to-goodness fruit snack, like you find at the store, which will stick to your spoon). Use a long-handled spoon and a great deal of caution (chemistry safety goggles would be a good idea....) because when this boils, it spits hot gelatinous gunk at you. Scary! Once it starts boiling, turn the temperature down to low to save your arms and face from burns, and don't let the kids help with that part. It really does have to sit 12 hours or overnight (bummer!) but it came out soft and sticky and tasting great.

Really, though, if you want to give the kids a Turkish Delight experience without the mess, you could just order some Aplets and Cotlets ( have irregularly shaped ones for pretty cheap), or feed them jelly beans--the gooey inside stuff is Turkish Delight. Or, easier yet, give them fruit snacks. They aren't exactly the same, but it's a very clear descendant of the Victorian candy delight.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Did I just read that?

"Barking provokes Tabiona town leader, kills dog"

His bark was himself.

And, in the actual article: "Rickey Evin Wilberg, 58, was booked Friday into the Duchesne County Jail for investigation of animal cruelty and intoxication."

 He got the dog drunk and was mean to it. And that's illegal.

Did I just read that?

"Woman beheaded in supermarket attack described as full of life"  (This is how the headline appeared as a suggested reading at the bottom of a different article on CNN. It's different in the actual article.)

Funny. Most of us, upon losing our heads, would be described as dead.

Did I just read that?

"Before she was toting six kids around the world as a UN Ambassador, Angelina Jolie was toting a vile of blood around her neck that belonged to her second husband Billy Bob Thornton. "
Read more:

Vile indeed.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Did I just read that?

"Fibromyalgia to cause 'bone-crushing fatigue'"

Is it going to start doing that, now, too? Nice of them to give us a little warning....

Friday, May 13, 2011


Tim once told me that poetry and lyrics are two different things.

With other artists producing songs with lyrics like, "Baby baby baby baby baby" (that's all), it's hard not to see Tim's songs as poetry, though.

One of the reviewers who saw his show said that he is "The best lyricist in A cappella today."

Another said, "Part stand-up comedy, part poetry slam, and part performance art, Vocal Magic was like nothing I had ever seen before. My first thought: If T.S. Eliot could have sang and Allan Ginsberg had known how to beatbox and been stuck in one body, they could have been reincarnated as Mister Tim."

Consistently, English majors (and past English majors) love to talk to Tim after his shows about the meaning of his lyrics--they're fun to play with, think about, parse, discuss, analyze, dig deeper into. Just like poetry.

Some of my favorite phrases of all time (Yes, I have favorite phrases that just delight my tongue and mind--I'm a poetry lover, after all!) were written by Tim.

Phrases I love (all from his newest releases--­/MisterTim--you can have a "scavenger hunt" to see if you can hear them all).  Say them out loud to get the full impact. Tim has an unusual sense of rhythm, and a superb sense of rhyme. It's truly a delight.

My favorite phrases:

"Seems like feelin' out of place is the place to be"

"Let  me out, let me out; 
Let me in, let me in"

"a garrison of Geek"

"With your heart in your head, 
and your head in your hand
 as the centuries fade
 into futures of sand--
This is it--
I bang bang bang on the door."

"Sucker punch with a ballerina shotgun; 
trust in the dude you conclude he has got one"

"Am I free or am I mistaken?"

"From Chaos springs a bud--a fruit to enjoy all alone."

"Pulling a fast one but not fast enough"

"Madness saunters in wearing tattered purple robes; 
Yesterday a throne--today a crock of old confusion"

I love that in the song, "Down and Down," every pair of words has two  meanings (Down and down, Sound and sound, Groan and Grown, No and Know). It makes so many layers of meaning!

"Where or whether has the sparrow flown?"

"Basket case, take the cake"

"I appreciate your willingness to propagate misinformation"

"Shakespeare wrote about tragic and comic and magic and alls well that ends well. 
I don't understand the message you're sending. I don't dare demand Shakespearean ending."

This one even reads like a poem:
"Softly how the wind blows through the trees.
Softly hear the falling of the leaves.
Softly let your heart enjoy the passing of the stream.
Until the scream. 

Running through my mind
 I stumble out into the blinding light 
of noon-day sunshine  burning me, 
the blazing light of entropy. 
I see.

When the storm beats,
blows out to sea,
Softly how the wind blows through the trees.
Softly hear the falling of the leaves.
Softly draw your breath and feel
The passing of the dream."

"Vapid mouths were filled with weeds"

"I heard the mob of Zombies shout;
they laughed and laughed and laughed 
as blood ran out."

"Their stoic faces hid their contraband"

"Real time realtors sell your soul by the acre"

"Cassanova Frankenstein
 is out the window making time
 with all the ladies"

"Look at the aggregate
Grossly inadequate"

"There was a time when all the funky in the forest couldn't phase me
Catastrophe didn't bother me
Even though the doctor said we could go crazy.
The more I learn, the less I understand.
Not sure why I feel a phenomenal feeling."

"Sixteen rabbis, three dead priests, and a Quaker."

I think "funky in the forest didn't phase me" and "Catastrophe didn't bother me" are some of my favorite phrases written in all of English EVER.

Benji says,

Dan said, "I want to be a builder some day."

Benji replied, "You can't be a boulder!"

New Music!!!!!

Tim went into the studio on Tuesday at 2:00 to finish his CD he's been working on for a week. He came home on Thursday at 5:00 pm, 51 hours (including a break to go do a show, and with only 4 spent sleeping) later.

But he finished his CD.

New songs.

New arrangements.

Gooooooood stuff.

You can listen to it all here:­/MisterTim

It sends you through facebook, but you don't have to join facebook or log in or be a member to listen.  Just scroll down past the image of the CD art (Tim designed that, too) to the menu of songs and listen to your heart's delight.

It's good stuff.

Benji says,

So, Benji, being Benji, has determined that the most appropriate place the back balcony, right off the dining room. This is the only path to the back yard.

So today, when he did it yet again, I pulled him aside and tried to explain why he shouldn't do that.

"See, Benji, if you really really won't pee in the potty, you can pee in the yard, but it HAS to go into the grass. You can't pee on the balcony any more. Not ever. Nobody wants to walk in a puddle of pee."

"No," Benji said. "It's okay. They do. See?"

And he immediately stepped into the puddle of pee in his bare feet. (EEEWWWW!)

"See? They do. See?" he said. And he tracked pee footprints all over the balcony.

Benji: 2
Mommy: 0

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Benji says,

Singing "Lollipop":

"Oh I love my lollipop,
I'll tell you why,
If you don't like your dinner,
Lollipop tastes great!"

Nathanael says....

Me: "Nathanael, don't step on Caleb."
Nathanael: "I didn't. I walked on him."

Making Bread

I've been making bread for 3 years now, almost every day, and I've grown increasingly frustrated at how quickly it dries out (sometimes within 12 hours). I was also frustrated with how many crumbs it dropped when we cut it, but I thought there was no solution to that.

But I figured there must be a solution to the drying out.

I did a little research online and then messed with my recipe.  In addition to 1/4 c sugar, I put in 1/8 c (or so--I just glopped some in) of honey. And instead of the oil, I put in 1/2 c (or so, I just scooped a bunch in ) of solid shortening (not melted).  And then I was careful not to overdo the amount of flour. Too much flour makes solid, dense loaves. Too little makes them not rise enough, so they end up kind of squat, but this time I drifted toward too little rather than too much.

I always make two loaves on a cookie sheet, and they tend to grow to touch in the oven and have to be torn apart, so this time I let them cool together and then tore them apart and let them rest in bags on the torn side overnight, so no moisture would be lost out the tear.

And today, the bread is astonishingly good. That's probably partially because of the double-dose of sweetness, with the honey and the sugar, but it's also because it's unbelievably soft--softer, even, than the freshest bread using my other recipe. And, surprisingly, no crumbs when we cut it. None. At all.

Might have to try that recipe again....

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Did I just read that?

From craigslist today: "Tent - 1/2 person, warm weather - (Boulder the Hill)"

Great if there's only half of you who wants to camp!

Monday, May 09, 2011

Caleb says,

Explaining why he STILL hasn't gotten through his reading assignment from "A Christmas Carol" today, and instead I keep finding him running through the house (which he does when he's thinking):

"I don't hate Dickens. It's just that his writing is so dang detailed that I get ideas."

(Is that good--he's opening new vistas for Caleb to explore, or bad--he's boring and Caleb is distracted? Perhaps such diplomatic expressions will land Caleb a career in politics.)

Sunday, May 08, 2011


Came home from a very difficult day at church and sat down to space out and found this:

You really really need to read it.

She just gets it.

An excerpt, to convince you to click the link and go read the whole article:

"Truth #4: Satan is real, and he has declared war on women.

The adversary understands full well that those who rock the cradle are strategically positioned to rock his diabolical empire. Thus, today his destructive myths about women and mothers abound. Here are just three:

Myth #1: Men are more important and have all the power, so if women want to have influence they should be more like men.
Myth #2: A woman's value is based solely on size and shape.
Myth #3: The only worthwhile validation comes from outside the home, and thus, motherhood is a waste of any talented woman's time.

Too many women have bought these lies. Our culture is disintegrating at the speed of light, and regrettably, the female gender is doing its share of the damage. Sleazy women who flaunt their indiscretions jam the airwaves and monopolize magazine covers.

Other distortions are equally troubling. One prominent magazine annually publishes its "100 Most Powerful Women" cover story. Almost every woman mentioned is a politician, entertainer or CEO. I mean no disrespect to any of these women. What I dispute is the distortion that in order to have influence, a woman must have money, fame or a title. That is a lie!

External validation has short-term value at best. It's difficult to hug an award. No one from the office will call on Mothers Day to thank you for changing their life. There world's praise pales when compared to the joy of family.

Truth #5: Mothers have more influence than they realize."

Mother's Day

We all listened to the talks this Mother's Day. I suspect they were the same in every ward across the nation.

And I came to this conclusion:

Some day, I hope my kids will thank me because I'm NOT one of those moms. Not that being one of those moms is bad. It's not. It's just that I'm not that, and I hope my kids are glad for what I gave them that one of those moms couldn't. Even if I never taught them to love washing the dishes or practicing piano.

And I'm not sorry.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Hippie Man

I LOVE this song Tim wrote.

Also, Carhenge is a funny place.

Did I just read that?

From a survey I was taking online for Deseret Book:

Well now, how could I read it if it's fictional?

Deseret Book should have known better......

Did I just read that?

From "Judge says London bomb victims unlawfully killed"

Which suggests that there is a lawful way to kill people with bombs....

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Step one of my website, DONE

I decided to make my curricula (the ones I created for my children last fall) accessible to everyone (and my kids) with a fun interface that's easy to use.

I also improved the curriculum some, taking out broken or stupid links, fixing the order of some of the lessons, improving the science, art, and music immensely, and upgrading the reading and math.

I've only finished the playschool so far, but for toddlers (ages 1-3), it's REALLY fun. My 2 yo begs me to turn on his "green school."

Go have a look. Let your kids play. It's fun.

Hopefully I'll have more grades coming up soon. It's just a LOT of work. But all my big kids looked at it and said, "Can I do Learning Lynx Classroom next year, too?" So I'm plugging away at it, trying to get Pre-k through 5 done by the end of August.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Burying Bin Laden

Yesterday, I thought it was insensitive of all the liberals I know to scold everyone for rejoicing in a major victory in a war. I know they don't approve of the war at all, but scolding everyone is in poor taste, especially since there are families of thousands of people who had a lot of sorrow because of the plots of this man, and many more who have had scares because of plots related to him and other terrorists.

Today it was less grating to hear the "Hey, don't dance on his grave" things that popped up everywhere. Today it was more appropriate.

Today I read about what they did with bin Laden's body, and also read several interviews with family members of those who died on 9/11 who were irate about it. They wanted to SEE his body. Several quotes revealed people who were (and are) clearly being consumed with anger.

Is spitting on someone's grave worse than dancing on it?

Anyway, I was really really glad about how the government and the armed forces handled the body.  The did not turn it into a sideshow. They didn't parade it through the nation for people to vilify. They didn't make it a point of anger or rage or spectacle.

They buried it respectfully according to the customs and religion of the man they had killed.

And that was the right thing to do.

For one thing, it keeps us, as a nation, safer.  If we parade the body through America, that does nothing for our righteousness and it gives other people in the world good cause to rally against us, instead of with us, against evil. If we leave it with his own people, though, they have a martyr they can show off, and a grave that becomes a shrine where pilgrims come. It becomes a rallying point, physically--a place that people can visit and remember and meet likeminded souls.

For another, it shows some dignity. If we are out purely to defend ourselves (not for revenge), then it is important to act like that, to treat cultures and souls with respect, and to not let our actions be controlled by sensationalism, cruelty, or anger.  We defend ourselves. We should not delight in bloodshed.

Am I glad he's gone? Yes. Am I glad he got a decent, human burial according to his own customs? Absolutely.  Do I feel sorry for him? Deeply.

He's got a lot of angry people to face on the other side, including the woman he used as a shield, the 3000 who died in the twin towers. And probably even his own God.


This is video of Tim's "new" group (not really new to us--it's been in development for 5 years) winning the 2011 Rocky Mountain Harmony Sweepstakes:

Monday, May 02, 2011

Job Satisfaction

Tim and I were just talking about this topic, and apparently we weren't the only people thinking about it:

Tim often gets asked to speak to youth on following your dreams. And the reality is, we believe in following your dreams. AS A HOBBY.  Not as a career. So it's a little awkward when he's asked to speak on that topic.

The reality is, people should follow their interests, their talents, their abilities in searching for a career. But they should also plan to do something practical that can support a family. Something reasonable that contributes to society and to their own well-being. They should get an education. They should get job training.

I'm not saying people should plan their career based on what makes money. Doing something that is very difficult that you have no interest in whatsoever is a recipe for misery. And failure. Why condemn yourself that way?

But it is reasonable to expect to do a job  you can stand to do, and find ways to enjoy it just like the article said. And then to pursue our passions and our dreams on the side.

Dreams and passions are for joy, for happiness, to enrich our lives. Not necessarily for a career.

War is awful stuff

So they got him--they got Osama bin Laden, who they say was the chief head honcho who was out to destroy our nation.

And many of my smartest friends are condemning the people who are rejoicing, all of them by quoting scriptures about how we're not supposed to rejoice at the death of a wicked man. I am not disputing that we shouldn't rejoice at the death of a wicked man, nor that we shouldn't glory in killing, nor that it is right to love your enemies and do good to them that despitefully use you.

But it is also a commandment for men to protect their families (see the Proclamation to the World).

And while there are times that we are instructed to lay down and let our enemies kill us, there are other times, too, when we defend our liberty.

For example, "And Moroni was a strong and a mighty man; he was a man of a perfect understanding; yea, a man that did not delight in bloodshed; a man whose soul did joy in the liberty and the freedom of his country, and his brethren from bondage and slavery;Yea, a man whose heart did swell with thanksgiving to his God, for the many privileges and blessings which he bestowed upon his people; a man who did labor exceedingly for the welfare and safety of his people.Yea, and he was a man who was firm in the faith of Christ, and he had sworn with an oath to defend his people, his rights, and his country, and his religion, even to the loss of his blood. Now the Nephites were taught to defend themselves against their enemies, even to the shedding of blood if it were necessary; yea, and they were also taught never to give an offense, yea, and never to raise the sword except it were against an enemy, except it were to preserve their lives. And this was their faith, that by so doing God would prosper them in the land, or in other words, if they were faithful in keeping the commandments of God that he would prosper them in the land; yea, warn them to flee, or to prepare for war, according to their danger; And also, that God would make it known unto them whither they should go to defend themselves against their enemies, and by so doing, the Lord would deliver them; and this was the faith of Moroni, and his heart did glory in it; not in the shedding of blood but in doing good, in preserving his people, yea, in keeping the commandments of God, yea, and resisting iniquity."

I would like to suggest that perhaps people are rejoicing in their liberty that the death of the figurehead of the enemies represents, rather than in his death as a human being. And that is not wrong.

Alma 58:12 says, "And we did take courage with our small force which we had received, and were fixed with a determination to conquer our enemies, and to maintain our lands, and our possessions, and our wives, and our children, and the cause of our liberty."

These righteous prophets were determined to conquer their enemies. Is it wrong, then for us to have the same determination--not to glory in their destruction, but to secure our liberty to worship our God, to raise our families, to live our lives safe from the continued attempts at destruction we've dealt with for the past ten years? This is not a sinful pursuit.

Alma 53:7, the Stripling Warriors "entered into a covenant to fight for the liberty of the Nephites, yea, to protect the land unto the laying down of their lives; yea, even they covenanted that they never would give up their liberty, but they would fight in all cases to protect the Nephites and themselves from bondage." Why enter into such a covenant if they had no reasonable hope of success--even if it meant someone somewhere was going to die or else they were? Again, these are our HEROES.

In fact, it is so RIGHT to defend ourselves (including rejoicing when God grants us victory, mind you) that Moroni "Moroni commanded that his army should go against those king-men, to pull down their pride and their nobility and level them with the earth, or they should take up arms and support the cause of liberty. " (Alma 51:17). In Alma 60, Moroni again condemns a government who refuses to defend its people, letting thousands die.

Thousands of Americans have died at the hands of our enemies. While it is, indeed, wrong to rejoice in the death of the wicked, there is nothing wrong with defending our liberty and rejoicing when a victory is won, even if it's not the end of the war.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

All I can do is sigh.

Tonight it smelled like snow and was ice cold outside.

I have no idea what motivated Benji, consequently, to take all his clothes off  (ALL) and go out back to pee down the balcony stairs into the yard. At 1:30 am.  (Not that I would have understood peeing down the stairs at any other time of day....).

So then Nathanael came by and, seeing the door open in the middle of the night, closed it so tightly that Benji couldn't get back in.

We had no idea he was out there until I heard him and turned. There he was, buck naked out on the back porch with his face pressed against the glass of the door, yelling at the top of his lungs, "Mom! Mom! Let me in. Please let me in!"

At 1:30 am.