Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Word of the Day

Illustration of one point perspective by Daniel

I was going to use "vanishing point" or possibly "one point perspective" - but since those are both multi-word phrases, orthogonal won out.

As in:
"It was fun to draw a picture using the vanishing point as a guide for the orthogonal lines. This picture illustrated the concept of one point perspective, as seen in Raphael's The School of Athens."

or·thog·o·nal (ôr-thŏg'ə-nəl) adj.
1. Relating to or composed of right angles.
2. Mathematics
Of or relating to a matrix whose transpose equals its inverse.
Of or relating to a linear transformation that preserves the length of vectors.

The School of Athens by Raphael

The Number of the Day

Nine is the magic number today.

Each month for WAVA (Wash. Virtual Academy) we are given a goal for the percent of lessons to have complete by the end of the month. For the month of September that percent was 9.

9%. That was assuming we started out strong on September 8th. Well....we didn't get our textbooks the first week (t)...so.....that put us behind. A week behind. 3% behind. Then our first week of actually having textbooks was still a bit of a learning curve. We really weren't up to full speed until around the 18th.

Add to that equation my compulsive desire to complete projects on time(d), subtract Daniel's lack of desire to do MORE than one day's work per day(l)...it starts looking something like this:

(7t + 3t)/3% +20d - 20l = 9%

See. It's just a matter of getting the variables right. I'm thinking lunch at Wendy's might be a factor (W).

Monday, September 29, 2008

New Link - Andrew's Mission President's Blog

Steve has had a link to this site for a couple of months, but I thought I would add it to my list now that Andrew is actually on his way to Kobe.

President McIntyre (or possibly his wife) is pretty good about posting pictures of the missionaries - when they get new ones, at zone conferences, baptisms, etc...so, I'll be watching for Elder Andrew. I promise to link to pictures of him.

Waiting By the Phone

Andrew, or "Elder Andrew" as we now call him, is leaving the MTC today. In fact, he may have already left. Today's the day that he is flying to Japan. That means he gets to call home from the airport. Possibly from 2 airports (Salt Lake and Los Angeles).

Steve was trying to decide last night whether to stay home from work or not. I told him to go to work - just make sure he had his cell phone fully charged and the ringer volume on high. I promised to have Andrew call him. After I talk to him.

If anyone calls me this morning - don't be insulted if I hang up on you - I'm waiting for Andrew.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Wednesday lesson

Matthew 13:13

Therefore I speak to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

Not So Elderly Quorum

Nathan was called to be the 1st counselor in the singles branch Elders Quorum. He will be awesome. We just got home from the Stake Center where he was set apart.

It was fun to see how young the EQ Presidency in the singles branch is. I'll bet their average age is somewhere around 23.

The average age of our EQ Presidency is probably closer to 50 than it is to 40. Now that's an Elderly Quorum.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Censorship Begins At Home

Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus". Nude on the half-shell.

Donatello's "David". I much prefer Michelangelo's David - this one is just smarmy looking. AND if you're going to be naked, what's the point of the hat and boots?

Danny (and by association, I) are currently studying the Renaissance in his World History class. So far I have really liked his history textbook - it presents facts without being too judgemental about them. I like that a lot. It also has a lot of cool pictures and illustrations to go along with the text. As anyone who has ever studied Western Civ will know, a lot of the Renaissance artists were all about the "nude". Call it what you want, it doesn't fly too well at our house. It's not that I'm opposed to my children seeing "fine art" - I'm not. I just don't think they need to have those nudes constantly in view. To that end, I have supplied Danny with some Post-It notes.

The textbook actually shows great restraint - I think Danny only needs about 3 or 4 more post-it notes. The rest of the Renaissance art is clothed.

I'm really looking forward to some of the upcoming chapters. Especially the one about the Ottoman Empire, or as Danny has already dubbed it: "The Footstool Empire".

Sooo...should I put a post it note on the Maxfield Parrish print that I have up? I'm kind of thinking that since Steve grew up with it in his parents house and never noticed one of the figures has no clothes, we might be okay.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Nathan's New Keychain

In honor of losing our one and only key to the car last week, I went and bought a fancy "electronic" key chain just for Nathan. It even came with a couple of extra "keys". I'm fairly confident that it will be MUCH harder to lose this one. I'm sure it will make him an even bigger chick magnet than he already is. All the girls will go wild at the awesome sound effects this baby makes.

He can try it out at the dance tonight.

No Longer JUST a Garage Ornament

Nathan is out detailing the car right now, even as I type. I think he's hoping to drive it to the dance tonight.

I'm not giving him a key until I get a keychain that he won't easily lose.
$2.00 instant rebate. Change that was left in the car by the previous owner.

My Brave Freshmen

Yesterday morning I was feeling like I had hit rock bottom. I hadn't slept well, my nose was running, my head ached, my eyes were watery and I suspect that I was running a bit of a fever. Nevertheless, I hauled my sorry self off to seminary and spent 50 minutes with my students. The low point was when I couldn't focus clearly to read my scriptures, I put on my reading glasses and they instantly fogged up - so I couldn't read with them on and I couldn't read without them. Thankfully my students are all quite capable of reading - so I had them do it.

The rest of the day went much better. The nose dripping tapered off, the eyes stopped watering, etc...On the strength of that I went ahead and made cinnamon rolls for my class for today.

One of the students saw them and asked if they were for class. I said yes, but they would have to be brave to eat them. He asked me what he would have to do (he must have been thinking he was on Fear Factor or something). I said "Remember, I had a cold when I made these."

I don't think anyone skipped taking one - and at least one boy had two. The good news is that it's a three day weekend. Anyone catching my cold today has a nice recovery window.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Trevor and the Cookie Scoop

"Grandma, can we make cookies. Can I use the cookie scoop? "

The cookie scoop is Trevor's new favorite kitchen tool. I may have to look for one for "someone" for Christmas. I already have the chef hats (thanks to Suzanne's great birthday for Lily pictures).

Who You Gonna Call?

Umm, it's 4:30am and I sort of need a substitute for seminary. I started feeling the effects of a bad cold yesterday. It escalated from post nasal drip, tissue stuffed up the nose, sore throat and now a low fever. Very slight fever. Probably it will be higher later in the day. Yeah, yeah I'll take the vitamin C, etc...but what do I do about seminary now?

Is anyone else up? I can't think of many things worse than getting a phone call while you are still asleep asking you to haul your buns out of bed so that you can stand in front of a class of strange teenagers. Hmmm. What to do, what to do. If it were Friday I could ask Steve to take over, but he drives the vanpool Mon-Thurs...so he would have some unhappy vanpoolers if he bailed on them today.

Well, I guess I'll go take some Tylenol and make a cup of hot apple cider and hope for the best. Then I will ask the seminary principle what he would do.

Thank goodness I have about 15 minutes of video for today...that'll help.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

As Per Nathan's Request

Nathan asked me to post pictures of a couple of his paper creations. The one above is entitled "Impatience". If you turn the little handle on the side the fingers drum on the top of the box. We gave Nathan this kit while he was getting ready for his mission.
This one is entitled "Ewe Boat". It is quite old - Nathan made it several years ago. The handle is gone, but if you're careful you can still turn the mechanism and the ewe rows the boat.
For your own kits, go to http://www.flying-pig.co.uk/ and check them out. We have found the kits at Powell's Bookstore and a quirky store that I can't remember the name of, just that it is in the SeaTac airport across from the food court.

If There Are No More Questions, I Will Now Begin My Quest For World Domination

The whole world domination thing would sound much more threatening if I was a person able of finding a set of car keys....

Anyway, about the whole world domination thing. I sent out a seemingly innocent e-mail last week to a few of my sisters. I forwarded a file with info about my ward's "Super Saturday" coming up next month. I didn't expect anything to come of it, so imagine my surprise when Suzanne said she was thinking of coming! And then Keira, and now possibly Sherri AND Tia.

I feel an evil laugh coming on....bwa ha ha ha ha.

Inquiring Minds Want to Know...

Nope, we haven't found the key yet. We did have a "breakthrough" last night. Son-in-law Cory came over and helped Steve to break into the car. We can now say with certainty that the key is NOT in the car. We can also use the car as extra seating in the garage. Just in case we have a lot of company....

The irony of the situation is not lost on me - I have been teaching lessons in seminary this week on : Prayer, Faith and Miracles. I give my class updates about the lost key. And about my faith - that it will not waver if we don't find it and have to spend lots of money on a replacement. Really it won't.

Steve and Cory did not break the window - it was after 10pm so I haven't heard the details yet - but I did see the car and it is intact.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Little Sidenote

Andrew got his traveling papers...he's leaving the MTC on Monday, September 29th! His new address is located under his picture over on the sidebar. Please write. He would really appreciate it.

Here's his final MTC email:

Dear Family,
Yes I did get my travel plans, though I don't have them on me right now. We have to be at the travel office ready to go 8 AM Monday Morning, September 29. I think we leave Salt Lake City at 10 AM Mountain Time, Arrive in LA 11 AM Pacific Time. We leave LA at about 1 PM. We fly to Tokyo and arrive September 30 5 PMish maybe. From there we fly to Itami in Osaka and arrive I think around 7 PM.

Don't send anymore packages. I'll buy anything I need in Japan. At the moment I'm busy worrying making sure all my baggage ends up underweight. We can have two checked bags, both 50 lbs, one carry on 22 lbs, and a personal item.

I called the bank today to let them know I would be in Japan for the next two years. The automated message before giving you numbers to press mentioned something about a Boeing Strike I think. What's that about?

Can I just say after memorizing a few scriptures in Japanese how easy I imagine memorizing scriptures in English actually is. When memorizing a scripture in Japanese I start off by writing it all down. I then go through and write the English meanings of the words under the Japanese ones. After that I figure out how it all fits together. A lot of sentences are written in reverse order of the English sentence. After that I finally start memorizing it. It's not as hard to memorize after I know what I'm saying.

Last Tuesday Elder Hinckley spoke at the Devotional. He had his own B's of missionary work. Be Civil. Be Happy. Be Bold. Be Prayerful. Be Obedient. Be Careful. Be Filled with Faith. Be Leaders (By your example), Be clean. He gave a really good talk. And he also kind of reminded of Mr.Rogers from Mr.Roger's Neighborhood. Though I can't even remember the last time I saw that show so I couldn't say for sure. Anyways after he finished talking about Being Clean he left about 10 minutes or so for people's questions. As could be expected I suppose most of the questions were wasted. When is this mission opening up? Are there any current plans for opening missions in China? And last and most confusing to pretty much every one there, Why is it so important that we're clean when we enter the mission field? Elder Hinckley had just talked about that so I'm not sure what the question was really about? Either the Elder was asleep, not very bright, or was trying to ask what the *real* reason was. I'm not sure.
Last night there was a Health and Safety Meeting for everyone leaving next week. The people serving in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, or Australia went to one meeting. Every one else went to the other. Most of the things talked about weren't relevant to Japan. What I really got out of the meeting is that I'm happy to be going to a place with clean water. Also it's a bad idea to leave a hamburger in a microwave overnight and then when you discover it the next day to just heat it up and eat it. I'm pretty sure I won't do that.

Sushi may or may not be okay. The speakers there when asked said eating raw fish was a bad idea. I'm pretty sure they'll tell us in Japan what's okay and what's not. From what I understand they actually have a list of Tea's okay to drink and not okay to drink in Japan. Though I can't remember what the difference is right now.

I will still have the same e-mail address in Japan. My mail address will be:

Elder Andrew West
Japan Kobe Mission
4-6-28 Shinohara Honcho
Kobe-shi 657-0067

Good luck with finding that key. Don't stress out over it. Stressing won't help anything.


Elder Andrew West.

Footloose...and College Bound

These feet are college bound.

Yesterday Alex and Nathan started college. Nathan has two classes under his belt from summer quarter, but Alex is a complete newcomer. He is in good company. Besides going to school with Nathan for the first time since about 1st grade, every high school senior in our ward (except one or two) is going to Running Start. Not bad. Plus there are lots of other juniors and seniors from the other wards that he has gone to seminary with over the years. Good company.

Monday, September 22, 2008

What's In Your Pantry?

Last Thursday I made a batch of Garlic Herb Rolls (it's actually a recipe for bread, but I make it into rolls). It's easy to make and the aroma makes the whole house smell wonderful. I sort of forgot to think up anything to go with it for dinner until about 4pm. At that point I was tired and lacking in any imagination, so I started going through my freezer to see what was there....not too much - anyway, not much that was fast and easy. I did unearth a meaty ham bone. Aha, thinks I, we'll have ham lentil soup to go with the rolls. I thawed out the ham and threw it in a pot with some water. No lentils. Well, I might have some downstairs in my food storage, but that would have taken a little more effort than I was willing to expend. This is what my pantry/fridge yielded for our "stone soup":

1 meaty ham bone
2 cans of white beans
dehydrated onions
dehydrated carrots
alphabet noodles

I have to say, even though it was a less than stellar composition I didn't have to throw any of it away. The family ate it over the course of 2 dinners. What good sports they are. I think the garlic herb rolls sort of made up for the sorry soup.

Get out your bread machines girls and boys, it's time to make some dough!

Garlic Herb Bread

1 1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp softened butter
2 cloves crushed garlic
3 1/4 cups bread flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried thyme
2 3/4 tsps yeast

Process on the dough setting of your bread machine. Shape into rolls and place on a greased cookie sheet. Let rise for a while...say 40 - 60 minutes...Cook at 375' for around 15 - 20 minutes. Enjoy.

If you want a GOOD soup recipe, try the zuppa toscana from my May 14th post. That's what we're having for dinner tonight along with the garlic herb rolls.

Keyless in Seattle...

Day 2, still no car keys. I need to figure out a way to get it open so I can see if the keys are inside. What I need is for someone to break into my car.

Sherri found this video with an idea. Now, if only I had a car to drive to the store and buy a tennis ball.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Garage Ornament

Our new car only came with one key (it's not a new car, it's new to us...). We planned to go get two more keys made on Monday.

Nathan drove the car home on Saturday. Sunday morning...no key. We have been looking. And looking. And, umm, looking. Nathan didn't go anywhere after getting home on Saturday, so the key has to be around here somewhere. Somewhere.

The good news, no wear and tear on the car. As an added bonus my garage is getting a little extra cleaning. The bad news...a single car key without a key chain is pretty darn small.

I'm trying to see the humor in the situation. Really I am.

Open Mouth, Insert Foot

I was frankly dreading going to Relief Society today. It's been over 2 1/2 years since I've attended RS in my ward.


I was given a slip of paper with a question on it to answer. The question was something along the lines of "How we should treat our bodies..." I started off with the obvious - don't get tattoos, lots of piercings, etc...(because this is where you would start with YW)


Unbeknowst to me, our RS teacher has a tattoo. Oops. Oh well, the doctrine is still true.

"Latter-day prophets strongly discourage the tattooing of the body. Those who disregard this counsel show a lack of respect for themselves and for God. The Apostle Paul taught of the significance of our bodies and the danger of purposefully defiling them: "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are" (1 Corinthians 3:16–17). "

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Random Acts of Saturday

Our new second car looks just like this.

We have been debating becoming a two car family again. Tough call....gas prices are high, insurance is high, the economy is low....umm....anyway, there were a lot of factors to consider. Practicality finally won out - it is just getting harder and harder to prioritize who gets a vehicle at any given time.

With college starting up on Monday for Alex and Nathan, transportation is soon going to be an even bigger issue.

So we caved in. Look at it this way, for 2 1/2 years we have survived with one mini-van and Steve's vanpool. We've done a wee bit for the environment.

The thing that has kept us only owning 1 car is a mutual antipathy to car shopping. Steve doesn't like to do it, and I pretty much won't go. I'll go at the end and sign the title stuff, but please don't drag me around for days looking at cars. Technology (and some nudging from Nathan) totally helped us out this time. Steve did most of his shopping on the internet. He was able to compare prices, gas mileage, etc...from the comfort of his office chair. Sweet. I was even willing to take a gander occasionally at his computer.

Steve and Nathan found a car, test drove it, then came home and picked me up. I didn't even know what car they had picked. As we were parking at the car lot Steve says "that's the car right in front of us." I thought they had been looking at a Ford something or other...well, Mercury makes Ford cars right? I totally cracked up when I saw what make the car was.

Mercury Mystique. Hee hee.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Geek Squad

Miracle Max: Go away or I'll call the Brute Squad.
Fezzik: I'm on the Brute Squad.
Miracle Max: [sees Fezzik] You *are* the Brute Squad!

Substitute the word "geek" for "brute" and you have practically any one of the boys at my house.

Nathan is helping put stuff on my nano...but I plan on doing it myself after the bulk download is done.

Not only does Steve rock the free world, but Nathan also rocks. This will be so much better than lugging the boombox cd player around the church to use for seminary.

My nano next to Nathan's classic.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I'm not sure how well the pumpkin chocolate chip muffins will go over...
but I'm sure I won't have to bring any home.

It's Friday. It's Friday!

Not only is it Friday, it is "game day" at seminary.

I plan on starting off with a quick game of"Jeopardy" (which is also a review of what they should have learned these first 2 weeks...), then another unnamed game, which involves a sort of modified scripture chase, then a quick game of scripture mastery ball (see picture), then wrap it all up with a final game of Human Tic Tac Toe. We will hopefully play girls against the boys - which will make it way easier to figure out who is on which team.

Word of the Day

knack·ered /ˈnækərd/ [nak-erd]
–adjective British Slang.
1. exhausted; very tired: He is really knackered after work

I'm tired. It's time to go to bed. Oh wait...it's only 7:50pm. What was I thinking? That's the problem, I'm too tired to think. I am totally knackered.

Must sleep.

Dead Ringer?

Not quite a dead ringer....Dad is way more good looking - much younger -and has better hair...other than that - I'm seeing some strong similarities:

  • Handy with tools.
  • Dedicated to the Lord.
  • Not afraid to speak his mind.
  • Willing to take on big projects.
  • Hand gestures...hand gestures.
  • Good with animals....

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Be Ye Therefore Perfect.

One of the segments I will be teaching tomorrow morning asks the question, "Which commandment do you think is the hardest to keep?". I asked Nathan (semi - rhetorically). His answer?

"Frequent dating".

Way to keep thinking about dating, dude. Be ye therefore perfect.

I Found My Thrill

I propose that we ignore all the muck-raking politics for a moment and consider the blueberry. Every year I fall back in love with those tiny globes of goodness. Please join me in singing its praises.

Well, since I don't know any songs about blueberries (except "I Found My Thrill on Blueberry Hill")...I'll just enumerate the exceptional qualities found in this, one of the least of the fruit kingdom. But first, let's take a look at a few contenders:

Peaches are peachy, except that you have to climb a tree, if you pick more than a dozen, they start getting heavy, they are fuzzy - even though you can eat the skin, it's not so great. Then they need to be sliced - just biting into them will cause juice to drip down your chin, hands and arms. THEN you still are left with a pit to throw away or compost.

Strawberries are yummy, but in order to pick them you have to get down on the ground - no shade! Slugs like to eat them. They get really mushy if you freeze them and then thaw them. You need a lot of plants to have enough ripe strawberries at one time for any kind of family size dessert.

Blackberries. My favorite flavor of jam is blackberry jam, but I hate picking blackberries - not only do they have lethal thorns, but they are still bearing into early autumn - and that's when the garden spiders are starting to get to phenomenal proportions. Garter snakes, ditto. Also, the darn things get moldy fast! Did I mention stains - yeah, those berries do leave a mark. The seeds aren't that great either - I always take the time and effort to strain out as many as possible.

Apples. Long lasting, good for you, cooked in a pie with vanilla ice cream they are a force to be reckoned with. But wait. First you have to wash them, then peel them, then core and slice them. THEN they are great in a pie.

Blueberries. No slugs. I never have to water or prune them. In fact, beyond weeding around them a couple or three times a year I am able to just ignore them. Hardly any bugs are attracted. No thorns. No peeling, coring, slicing. Not sticky. Don't mold fast. Freeze exceptionally well, with the barest minimum of preparation - just rinse them and throw them in a freezer bag. They may not be the sweetest, juiciest, most flavorful fruit in the world, but, by gum, they are fast and easy. And that's what I'm all about.

I Feel I Must Interject...

WAVA Language Arts lessons for today:

Conjunctions and Interjections. I kept trying to sing the School House Rock song "Conjunction Junction"but, I was unable to remember the words or phrases or clauses.

I posted my favorite song that uses the phrase "I feel I must interject here" a day or two ago - it made a good example today for what the word "interject" means.


The Student Guide for chapter 2 made a point of explaining "nudes". Yep, Danny will get to analyse naked pictures. I sort of wish I had that magnet set that was sent to Suzanne when she was in college - "Dress Me Up David". It was a magnet of the statue of David, then had clothes to add to it. I'd like to at least add some boxers to the art....please.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Good Intentions

I hope my road is not paved with them (good intentions).

I have been incredibly good about getting to bed early so as to have enough time for a full nights sleep. Unfortunately I keep getting betrayed by biology. I was asleep by 9:15pm last night. Then I woke up an hour later. Then I woke up 3 hours later. Then I woke up for good at 3:50am. I think it's just about time to try a new strategy. I thought if I did all my seminary prep work earlier in the day it wouldn't be running through my mind at night - that hasn't worked. Perhaps if I exhaust myself a little physically I'll sleep better. I am going to try and go out for a brisk walk after dinner. A couple of miles or so to start off.

At least that's my intention.

**update**Steve and I went for a walk this evening...we'll see how well the theory works.

Monday, September 15, 2008

How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?

This song is for Keira. I thought you might like a different take on the broken/bleeding heart song. Frankly, as far as that genre goes, there's "nothing better"*than this one.

*(disclaimer - not a great video, but it does include the lyrics - and really, that's the best part of the song)

What Was Inside Those Mysterious Boxes?

On Friday I posted a picture of the boxes that Danny's school supplies came in...Stephanie was wondering what was in them. Here it is. The big box on the right has science experiment supplies, the middle box has art supplies and then there were books (mostly language art and literature, but also word processing, etc. in the final box. The textbooks front and center (math and history) were shipped loose.

There you have it. School in a box. Actually, school in 3 boxes.

I'm hoping that the student manuals come soon. I need to put a new black ink cartridge in the printer, what with seminary and homeschool.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Chance of Tears, 100%

It was fair to middlin' humid in young women's today.

I've been in R.S. when there is a "changing of the guard" and there were no tears. Ditto Primary. Ditto Cub Scouts (duh). I doubt if the young men's presidency chokes up too much when they have a new presidency installed (yes, yes, there are always exceptions!). The outgoing presidency was "invited" to go up and share their feelings about young women's. That's pretty much when we lost it. Yeah, me too. It was truly a bawl fest. At least my voice stayed in my normal range - none of that extra high squeaky stuff.

The new YW president gave us all a present and then later (after the girls had finished signing it), a card. I didn't look at the card until we were on the way home. I totally cracked up. Evidently the Laurel class president was in charge of getting the cards signed - and they ended getting passed around in Sunday School. Here's a sampling of the comments:

I (heart) U
Your the best!!!!! I Love You! (with heart under exclamation)
You Rock
Thanks so much for all you've done. You're a wonderful person and we're going to miss you!

Those comments were all sweet, but what really cracked me up was this:

Thanks for the Young Women! - James

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Learning Curve

I was talking to a couple of the other seminary teachers on Thursday morning and we all agreed that this was the longest week. Ever. We were all sleep deprived to some degree or other, we had all spent more time than we really had on lesson prep, and were more than a little glassy eyed at the thought of an entire school year of this...possibly years.

I figure it's like starting any new class or job. It starts out busy - there are lots of one time tasks - or occasional tasks, then it settles down as you get into a rhythm of study and teaching. At least that's my hope. I'm fortunate to be a "morning person" - 6am is not terribly early for me - but getting up at 4:45am does take some getting used to. It's easy enough to get up then, it's just hard to maintain any energy at, say, 5pm. Twice this week I fell asleep as dinner was cooking. Not for too long, and nothing burned, but it does raise a bit of a red flag. I think I'll have to do my dinner prep earlier in the day. Thank goodness for crock pots and microwaves.

Does anyone have any great crock pot recipes?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Joy Cometh in the Afternoon.

It's too bad I don't know a song about the UPS man.
Daniel's school books and supplies have arrived. You can see the excitement in his face. I now just have to find a place to put it all.

An extra room would be nice.


My dear husband is getting me an ipod nano for an early birthday present. We were looking on the Apple site and they have a cool option. You can get free laser engraving on the back of your nano. It looks to be around 30 characters a line/2 lines. What should I have engraved?

  • My name with the word "rocks." below.
  • My blog title "It'll feel better when it quits hurting."
  • "Steve West Rocks the Free World"....

Open to suggestions...as you can see, my sleep deprived brain is not really at its sharpest right now, and while I'm at it, what's your favorite nano color (see picture - there is also black)?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

One Talented Guy

Jan van Eyck, Man in Blue Turban

Nathan is quite the renaissance man. Not only is he performing in a talent show tonight, he is also taking treats that he made from scratch.

Talent: Playing the piano blindfolded. He hasn't ever had piano lessons, so the piece he chose is going to be played with one finger. He was feeling that as a talent it was a bit lame, so I suggested he play it behind his back - that being more than a bit awkward, he chose to do it blindfolded instead. Did I mention that he hand knitted the scarf he will be using for a blindfold? Now that's talent.

Treat: Jam bars. They are in the family cookbook. It's great that he likes them and can make them, but I thought I had a two year supply of homemade blackberry jam, and he is quickly working his way through it with his signature dessert (he has taken it to at least 3 singles functions in the past month). Looks like he needs to head out and pick some blackberries for me.

Jam Bars
1 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup quick oats
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup jam (blackberry or raspberry are our favorites)

Sift together dry ingredients; stir in oats and sugar. Cut in butter till crumbly; pat 2/3 of crumbs in 11x7 pan. Spread with preserves; top with remaining crumbs. Bake in 375' oven about 35 minutes.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Fond Farewell...

Pretty sure that tonight was my last young women's activity. I spent most of the time working on seminary stuff - but I was there in body, if not quite all there in spirit.

I met one of the bishopric counselors in the hall and he said that we (the yw presidency) will probably be released Sunday. So...one more Sunday in YW. I will miss that - I like being there for the classes - even if the subject matter is stuff like "Don't have sex", "If you do have sex, don't have an abortion"oh, and my favorite, "Don't have sex". Just kidding. Sort of. We probably don't have more than 2 or 3 lessons a year that touch on that subject. Of course those aren't the real titles. I haven't looked ahead that far to see what exactly the seminary lessons are like in relation to that, but after reading some of the epistles, I guess I need to be prepared to talk about a variety of subjects - more or less related - AND I'll get to do it in a coed setting. Fun.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Attack of the Nakedish Art

I'm pretty sure I've never seen this statue with a towel around it.

I'm feeling a little better about WAVA (Washington Virtual Academy) today. No, we haven't received Danny's books, but we were able to do more of his courses online. I didn't realize he would be taking "Intermediate World Art". I remember taking Western Civ in high school and being somewhat embarrassed at the videos that showed nakedish art in our coed classroom. I'm not sure if it's better or worse to view them at home, but at least I will be commenting on them, not the adolescent young thug in the next seat.

On a similar note. Stephanie is taking a figure drawing class this quarter. She'll be contributing her own nakedish art to the world. Or at least to her instructor.