Saturday, August 29, 2009

Wasn't That Thoughtful?

*The quote above is from my favorite Fairy Tale Theater show, Cinderella. Matthew Broderick is in it. You should really watch it. If you can't find a copy through the library, I have one I would love to share. It's worth it. I was introduced to it by a friend and eventual roommate of mine, and I would love to pass along it's greatness.*

Sorry 7 day challenge readers. I promise I fully intended to finish it through. I had lovely little blog post ideas dancing through my head, just waiting to come to fruition.


Jamie went out of town Thursday. Wednesday night he said, "Oh, by the way, I am changing [something something with our internet], so it might go down tomorrow. And guess what? I won't be back until Friday and will probably just meet you at the singles branch campout that night, so if there is a problem, I won't be able to do anything about it until we get back on Saturday. IF THEN. Mwa-ha-ha!"

My first thought (I kid you not) was, "But, but... I'm on a 7 day challenge!!!"

Come to find out when we got home today, no one told him he had to buy their modem to make the [something something change] work, so while he was able to order the modem today, it won't ship till Monday, and coming slow boat it won't arrive till Wednesday OR SO.

Feel free to cry a few tears for me.

It's funny really how attached to the internet I am.

Thursday morning I got up and checked my e-mail just fine. The kids and I planned to go to a rocket booster test at ATK near Promontory Point, and before we left I thought I should read the e-mail about it again to make sure I had all the info I needed. About 9:45 I realized the internet was down. I debated whether to trust what I remembered or not, and not wanting to drive an hour to find out I got something wrong I ran to the library. Which provided another opportunity, since I could pick up a book on CD for us to listen to on our way there and back ("Peter Pan"). After all that, the rocket booster test counted down to 20 seconds and stopped. Some hydrolic problem that couldn't be fixed. We stopped by the Bear River Bird Refuge on the way home so it wasn't an entirely lost trip.

Friday before heading up to the campout we couldn't find Jamie's fishing license for him, and Sam was DYING to go fishing since he got a fly pole for his birthday. I'm also giving a talk Sunday and though I was done writing it, there was a story I wanted to print. So on our way to the campout we drove by my mom's house, printed out a fishing license for Jamie, and printed out the story.

Upon realizing the internet wouldn't be fixed today (Adam and I were already planning another trip to the library), Jamie got me on through dial-up. This is a very annoying trip down memory lane, but don't get me wrong, I'm grateful! My e-mail box needed some serious attention.

Besides looking for a little sympathy from all of you wonderful souls reading this any time you feel like from your high speed internet connections.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Chicken vs. Eagle

*I promise the chicken theme is entirely unintended! Maybe it's my desire for chickens unconsciously waving its little hand to remind me (as if I need that - I have chicken books sitting around in various stages of being read).*

I always prided myself in school for being a top student. Unfortunately, the rewards in real life, or at least in my real life, are far less evident than an A on a paper, test, or report card. I have so many areas that I know I'm average or below average, that I know I could be better at.

I was reminded of the parable of the chickens and the eagle recently. If you haven't read this story, go right now and do it. There are lots of versions of this story out there with differences here and there, but I really like that one.

Every time I've heard that I've paused long enough to think "I want to be an eagle!" How long that motivating feeling lasts depends on the circumstances where I heard it and what happens to be going on in my life right then, but I think I'm gleaning a bit more out of the story this time, or at least trying to.

Adam will be starting up with a new homeschool group in a couple weeks, and they had a little kickoff hike Saturday, after which they got their notebooks for the coming year. The chicken/eagle story is in it, and printed on the back are some questions to ponder. Here they are for your own internal searching and improvement enjoyment:

Who has expectations for you life?
What high expectations do you need help to meet? Who is your "naturalist"?
Are there any unrealistic expectations people have for you? (yourself included!)
What "chicken" behaviors do you hold on to? Why do you hang on to them?
How can you get rid of your "chicken" behaviors?
What "eagle" purpose do you have?
If you were the eagle, what is one thing that you can relate to?

And a few others to add:
Are you a chicken or an eagle?
Isn't it time to spread your wings and make majestic circles in the air?
What's keeping you?
When is the last time you dreamed something for yourself and did it?

The questions helped me think through things I need to be doing (or stop doing) to help myself become the eagle I want to be. Chickens are cool and all, but if someone offered me a chicken or an eagle, I would take the eagle anyday. Even if I didn't get to scramble up their eggs.

And for your viewing enjoyment, a slightly different version of the chicken and eagle story told very well and with accompanying music to boot.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Our Million Dollar Chicken Nugget

I've decided to take Kathryn's 7 day blog challenge. She's pretty darn amazing, so I figure anything that she does I should do too. This is also challenge I think I could probably do. I've seen 30 day challenges before, but after 30 days of me every day, the three people subscribed to my blog would probably unsubscribe, and then where would I be?

Before I begin, no, we didn't buy any chickens in the past day that we then turned into a really amazing nugget.

I watched the children of a lady I visit teach last month, and she bought my kids and I McDonald's for lunch as a thank you. She didn't have to do that, but I'm always grateful not to have to make a meal. Adam was eating away at some chicken nuggests when he noticed this very happy chicken nugget.

I promise there was no picture editing done there except a little brightness/contrast control since the picture came out a bit dark and I really wanted you all to see that lovely chicken face.

After taking a couple of pictures, Adam ate the chicken, and I'm sure felt a lovely happy feeling inside.

A few days later I was telling some family members about the nugget, and my sister told me I should have listed it on eBay. DUH! I didn't even think about that. I don't know how much people normally pay for this kind of thing, but I've been kicking myself ever since. Maybe there is some rich old McDonald's chicken nugget collector out there. Even if it sold for the price of a brand spanking new box of chicken nuggets, that would have been a fine story to share for years to come. As it is, all we have are these pictures. Sigh!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bawk! Bawk!

On the last day of our vacation mentioned in the previous post, we stopped at Cove Fort (north of Beaver, UT) for Cove Fort Days. They had lots of great pioneery displays and activities, including carriage rides, corn husk doll making, games, and of course Cove Fort tours. We got there towards the end, just as some of the activities were shutting down (barely got our carriage ride!).

While some of us were finishing up our corn husk dolls, some of the others wandered to where a guy had a couple of chickens pecking around. So when we finished we joined them. The guy asked if we have chickens (no) then asked if we are interested in having them (yes). He then proceeded to share lots of great information about chickens, plus a book recommendation (I always love that). We talked for 15-20 minutes, and now I really want some chickens!

We go through a lot of eggs at our house (Sammy's new cooking talent is cooking two fried eggs in the pan at the same time), so that would be nice to help alleviate that. Plus the kids are always asking about a pet, so why not get something useful?

I'm apparently not the only one in the area thinking this. There have been several changes and discussions about changes in chicken ordinances in cities around here. Karen told me the other day that in Clinton's upcoming elections they are expecting chickens to be a hot topic (more useful than many of the other things they talk about, I'd say).

Another proof I just found. I checked out a few books about chickens from the library. I put several on hold before going in, which was good because ours had none just sitting on the shelf. Even the co-head library lady that wanted to help me look again when I mentioned it commented that there is obviously a need for more. Thank goodness they just got another new one in, newly published this year.

And for a fun bit of chicken nostalgia...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Get It Out of Here!

We took a lovely vacation camping this past week, first just our family, then meeting up with our local church singles branch that Jamie is involved with. It was a wonderful few days, but something struck me on the way home. There was never any complaining from my kids about being bored, yet there were no toys there, no television, no video games. They spent their time playing games together, heading outside to look for interesting things, going on hikes, etc.

More inspiration to get tossing!

I ravaged the girls' room for the most part of yesterday. Since they don't want to take care of the things in their room, I decided that anything I wasn't willing to take care of could go. That ended up being one kitchen garbage bag full for the trash, and a big black garbage sack mostly full for the DI. As many times as I've done this you would think they would have nothing left in their room, but they still do. A LOT less, though. And I'm not even done yet. I still need to hit their clothes hard, because that seems to end up being a big portion of their mess. I've also told them that I'm liable to get sick of more stuff if I have to keep taking care of their things for them.

Before I started tossing Carolyn told me I couldn't get rid of any of her friends like her hippo and her pig and I told her of course I wouldn't. After I took the bags out she checked again about those, then asked me if I had taken her monkeys or her purse. I told her those were safe too. See, she really doesn't need much.

I'm not as extreme as Lara yet (a worthwhile read, I would love to hear your opinion), but I'm far closer to that than how I used to be.

The Shakespearean "rub" in this case is that it's far easier to do this with the kids' stuff than it is mine. I'm leaps and bounds better in that too, and I still blame time as a huge factor, but I NEVER get in my bedroom to do some real tossing. I also blame the fact that any time I go in there little people follow and I don't like everyone following me in there, and by the time they are in bed I don't want to think about cleaning in there.

Do you ever find yourself giving your children advice that you should be following as well? Like this morning, I walked into their beautiful bedroom to put some laundry away. Melanie was all spread out, lying on the floor coloring. Direct quote out of my mouth (after I said it I wrote it down): "Isn't it nice when your room is clean, and you have a nice place where you can go and hang out and just BE?" I need to talk to myself more often.

P.S. I have some really fun pictures from our trip that maybe someday I'll post, but when I'm in a cleaning frenzy I have to run with it seeing as how it doesn't happen all that often.