Tuesday, July 28, 2015

TED Talk Tuesday~ I Think I Might Have Had Heroine, Actually

Wow. This guy shares some rather unexpected observations.

While I agree that there are certain demographics of youth for whom environment and nurture could have made all the difference in the world, there are numerous adolescents whose parents were very attentive and nurturing. There are teens everywhere in developed countries who grow up with every possible leg up, as well with parents who took the time to say, "We love you and you're not alone."

I've been puzzling over this for a long time. What is it REALLY that causes a person to decide to take a peek into that door leading to drug use? I mean, I know people from ALL walks of life who have gone through that door.

Want to know what kept me from stepping through?

In my high school driver's ed class, they brought in a speaker once. He was dressed in a shirt, tie, and slacks. He told us that he used to be a successful CEO of some kind. This was back in the 80s, and they would have "business" parties. It was at one of these parties where he was first offered cocaine and decided he would try it. Just once. What was the harm in doing it one time? Obviously, he became addicted. He was now speaking to a driver's ed class full of teenagers.

When I saw that a smart, successful person could decide to try cocaine just once and end up losing everything- his career, his wife and kids, everything- and end up in prison, I knew it would be stupid of me to think it couldn't happen to me. That man's choice and consequence scared me.

I think this TED Talk lays out some very worthy suggestions for people who work with addicts, or who are exploring how to loosen the grip that drug abuse and drug crime has on the human family. Researching the references he cites would probably be very educating, as well.

Anyway, this is a great talk. It's just 14 minutes and 42 seconds. Watch it in the morning while you eat your Special K with banana slices. He does mention drinking and drugs, so you know, unless you're ready for your little kids to ask those kinds of questions, you may not want them to hear it.

Did you ask how I had heroine? I went sledding once up on Big Bear mountain. Got knocked unconscious. Woke up in a CAT scan machine. Spent the next 24 hours with morphine in my veins.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Quietest Two Hours Today

Porter spent a couple of weeks in Cheyenne with cousins. Now that he's home, we're drawing again. 

Porter's shading practice:

Morgan made these swordsmen:

Then taught Harris how to make them. 

Here are mine:

Ha. Isn't this owl great??? How many times a week do I feel like this expression?!

The Kind in the White and Green Box

Life is like a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. You know it's going to be the most amazing experience you've ever had. 

My oldest daughter showed up today to take away the other two daughters for a few days. (I guess we're just farming out our kids now. Porter just got back from Cheyenne. Any takers on the two-boys?)

Anyway, look what Shay brought. Donuts for which it is worth forgetting any and all health risks, and lettuce from her garden. 
It's so weird to me that Shanelle gardens. She hated nurturing anything when she lived here. 

Since we were all together again, I thought it would be fun to take a family selfie. Or, to try, at least. 


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Music Monday~ Lightsaber Duel

I am old enough that I have seen each Star Wars movie when originally released in theaters. (I say originally because the old ones were re-released with changes.) Only special people are impressed by that.

I saw the first one when I was four years old in Guam. The second one, I watched in North Dakota when I was seven. The third one was in England when I was ten. How many of you can spill those kinds of beans!?

Needless to say, some of us in this household are pretty durn excited for the next big screen release of this childhood/adulthood fantasy world. Harrison got a Star Wars shirt for his birthday. (Thank you, Abbie!) He is saving it to wear when we watch the new movie. I tried to tell him that it would be okay for him to wear before then, but no go.

I think I'm going to need a shirt, too. What do you think? Should I go Yoda or R2D2?

Today's music is a really fun number created by the Piano Guys who have to be some of the MOST talented musicians in the world. Their parodies are worth at least a chuckle and some of their more serious stuff will knock your socks off. Especially if you've ever played a piano! (Or, I suppose, a cello. What say ye, Bree? I wouldn't know. Cello is still on my bucket list.)


Thursday, July 9, 2015


No, it's not a cleaned up cuss word. 

So, my number one daughter has always given me music cuz that's how she tries to make up for all the gray hairs she has given me. The last cd she gave me looks like this:

She used to care enough that she would write the songs out for me. I guess there's a statute of limitations on gray hair crime. So, here I am with a cd of songs which I am about to import to my computer. If you don't name them, or if they don't have the name and artist digitally embedded in the file, they will be named as Track 1, Track 2, Track 3, etc. This drives me crazy. 

The point of this whole post is, in case you don't know- like, if you been living inside of a coconut- there is an app (I guess if you live inside of a coconut, you won't know what an app is either) called Shazam. 

You let Shazam listen to a song and 90% of the time it will be able to pinpoint it exactly. Voila. Much easier than having to search for a song based on a line of lyric. 

Your welcome, all you coconut dwellers. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Sometimes You Have to Excuse the Mess While Memories Are Made~ Bowling, Sewing, Fishing, Cranes

As our children have grown bigger, the messes have changed.
Rylee got her first "job" at the bowling alley/movie theater. She cleans theaters, helps in part of the kitchen, and runs the cash register. 

It has been a nice source of new experiences and challenges. They have two theaters and sometimes it can take her three hours to clean both.

She also sees first hand how much different it is making a low hourly wage verses working for her dad. But, she gets to bowl and watch movies for free. I think free movies alone makes the job worth it. Maybe not. I've never cleaned a theater.

A week after Anthony got home off his mission, he interviewed with the company building the temple.

They called him back to say that if he passed a drug test he was hired.

Of course, he passed. And of course, I think it's just ultimately cool that my son is helping to build a temple.

Rylee's horse lost her baby. He was fine one night, the next morning he was laying dead on the ground with foam coming out of his nostrils. It was devastating, as you can imagine, for Rylee's tender heart.

Now that she can take January out of the field to ride, she is being quite belligerent. Apparently, leaving your horse in a huge field of grass hay (We now know to be considered "hot" feed.) along with horses in the neighboring fields leads to a very spoiled, lazy, hotly feisty horse. Not so good for riding. So, Rylee is learning how to rehabilitate January. There have been many tears, but she is persevering.

Kiki got tired of waiting for a sewing table for her room and just used the kitchen table.

She had a serious itch to make a quilt.

She made two in two days.

We had a LOT of rain this spring which meant earlier access to the high country.

Jake and our very good friend, Ryan, talked my two-boys and Ryan's son into hiking to a place called Corral Creek Lake.

As I learned in Guam, never trust Jake when he says it's only a couple miles. When they got back, it had been a ten mile hike of climbs and descents. Some were hobbling, some were grumpy, some were sunburned. 

But, they did bring me back six delicious fish. I'm going to make a sign or a t-shirt that says: Real men bring the fish home for dinner. Thanks guys! I very much appreciate it.

I have been making good use of grandpa's pool. I love swimming so very much. Here, the boys are telling their friend to stand still as I lower the deck into the water because it tickles the hairs on their legs. Goofy boys.

There is never a problem finding something fun to do in a pool.


Then, of course there are these days. I am enjoying my kids getting older. I'm getting closer to that vision of my church pew being full of my grown children and their families.

There's still a lot of enjoyment in my "little" kids. They add a lot of life and energy to our home.

Then, of course, there was that time we made a coffin.

Never thought I'd learn the anatomy of a coffin. Beautiful, isn't it?

Looks comfy, right?
At one time, I had a daughter in high school, a son in junior high, and five homeschooled children under nine years of age. It was almost more than I could bear. My brain was cloudy with fatigue. I was being pulled in so many different directions, I pretty much lost myself. We had a huge house which was impossible to keep clean with so many little monkeys dropping stuff everywhere. We lived ten miles out of town which doesn't seem like much, but when you end up going into town three or four times a day, it's annoying as crap.

Along my road of parenting, I have learned that there are some things I just have to accept.

Like, that cleaning is a cycle. After I sweep and mop the floor, they are going to come in with their dirty shoes. After I detail the car, some hiking trip or drywall job will make it filthy again.

I've also learned that sometimes the source of my biggest frustrations were my own expectations. So, I had to really ask myself if they were unrealistic. And, yes, expecting a four year old child to behave and think like an adult was unrealistic. Expecting my husband to just know my emotional needs was impossible. Expecting everyone else to convert to my way of systematically doing things was unfair. A person comes with their own personality. Life is easier- love is easier- when you accept this.

There was a point when I felt quite resentful for all the demands I felt were being placed on me. Then, in my pursuit of happiness, I realized that these children, this family life should not be something I'm waiting to get through so that I can get to the life I really want. I completely changed my perspective so that I embraced my family as my career. That alone, has made all the difference in my personal happiness. I then took all of my skills and talents, passions and convictions, and threw them into my job as a wife and mother.

My life could then encompass everything that I loved. I was able to learn who I was, or had become, by following my own passions. I was able to find wonder in the world around me just as all of my children found wonder in theirs.

I support my family in the things they do and they support me in the things I do.

I miGht bE grOWinG Up...

Sunday, July 5, 2015

TED Talk Tuesday~ A or B? This is not your optometrist's question.

Cognitive traps, and scholars are as messed up as everyone else.

Music Monday~ Miles From Budapest

You ever hear a song that just makes you feel happy? I actually have a playlist for happy songs. Here is the newest one I added to the list. Press play. Close your eyes. Feel the music and let your body move to it.

(Sorry if there's an ad.)

Saturday, July 4, 2015

4th of July Fun

The past few years, our family reunion has been missing at least one of my kids due to summer jobs, jobs overseas, or an LDS mission. This year, we got the whole band back together.

Here is Anthony aiming the cannon.

If you've never been around a cannon when it goes off, it's VERY loud.

They aim at a tree stump.

Our newest family member, Marites, and the only other islander in the family besides me and my 1/4 blood chilluns.

This little dark boy is Marites's son. This was his first time to see a smoke bomb.

Harris is getting some instructions before his first time shooting skeet.
Here is Harrison's first shot with a shotgun. It's got quite a kick.

Here is his second shot. He was prepared this time. He did well. He shot three disks which is pretty good for a guy his size.

Morgan receiving instruction. He shot twice last year.

He did really well this year.

Can you see the smoke coming out of the barrel? Cool shot.

They ran a competitive game. The better you do the further left you move over.

Shay before squeezing the trigger.

Shay after.

Dad, you should attend next year!

Check out There Are Seven, Though