Wednesday, January 28, 2009

God Bless America

I am afraid for America. I am very disturbed by this "stimulus" package. Where has basic common sense gone? Can they not look a the package Bush passed and see that throwing money at the problem isn't fixing it? All it seems to be doing is raising the debt level and increasing many Americans dependence on government. - aka feelings of entitlement. I can just FEEL the tax burden looming over my head and the heads of my poor children. How can these politicians even say with a straight face that this package is aimed to give a quick jolt to America's Economy??? a full 60% of the TRILLION dollars won't even be spent during the next four years. Tell me, exactly what is QUICK about that?

A chunk of the 10-o-clock news tonight was about how congress has been meeting and debating about what to do about another "crisis." I'm referring to the switch to digital TV, and that the government ran out of money for converter boxes so millions of people are going to be without TV in 3 weeks. HEAVEN FORBID! What will the world come to??? How will people ever survive? I'm just waiting to find a line item in the stimulus package that gives $2000 for a new digital big screen TV for everyone who doesn't have a box, or can't/won't pay for cable,

I was sitting here tonight ready to go to bed, (which is where I should be instead of blogging, but I'm really quite worked up about this...) when onto the PBS channel came the show Hubner vs Hitler. I am alarmed by the similarities I see. You know what they say - those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

In Germany, people were down and discouraged, and as a result they followed, rather blindly, as charismatic leader who promised them the world and gave them hope. In this documentary that is playing behind me, they mentioned that in the beginning, the "working class" put up some resistance, but then as they were were given jobs, they just sort of grew silent as they sort of gave up resisting and decided that at least now they had jobs... The commentator says, "they were selling their soul to the devil, but didn't know it, didn't know what the cost would be."

They of course had to limit information. They were only allowed to listen to the "people's radio," which consisted of 3 stations, all German, all government controlled. It meant severe punishment, even death, to listen to other (BBC) stations. I thought immediately of Obama's recent comments to the congressional republicans when he said, "You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done." (so much for working in a bi-partisan, unity building manner, eh?) Since when does being the President give you the right to tell people what/who they can and cannot listen to? Since when do we not have the right and the responsibility to listen to a variety of points of view, do our own thinking and reasoning, and then determine our OWN opinion and perspective!

I am NOT comfortable with the direction Obama is leading, and it's only been a week. I pray for America, however I fear that my prayers must go unanswered because of the "wickedness" of the people of this land. The Book of Mormon tells us clearly that this land is a land of promise only as long as we worship God and keep his commandments.

No, the world will not end tomorrow. There are still many good, God-fearing, people of faith in America. We are however, becoming more and more of a minority. If not in numbers, than in voice. What is the answer? I don't know. Lots of prayer, faith, hope, and preparation.

Enough of my tirade. I need to chill out and go to bed! Good night

Saturday, January 24, 2009

nothing new

I just realized it's been a while since I last posted. I feel like I've been busy, yet at the same time can't think of anything significant to report.

Lets see, here are some highlights since I last posted:

* Aaron is grounded from playing with Mr T for the rest of the month. Not due to some super horrific behavior, but because they LIED about a bad choice and bullying behavior that they chose to participate in. It is the lying that was the mitigating factor. The behavior itself would have resulted in immediately sending his friends home for the day and then going over to apologize to the other kids involved and it would have been over.

* I've been attempting to teach Aaron to play racquetball. I love to play (not very good, but I enjoy it) and Aaron seems to be enjoying learning. We've played twice now and I've seen improvement. He gets to go on Saturdays if he gets all of his Saturday jobs done.

* Holly and I are on track with our exercising. We average about 2 1/2 miles per night, and try to run/jog at least 3 of the laps. We're thinking that we are almost ready to bump it up a notch; adding another running lap and increasing the distance to a nice round 3 miles.

* I've had sick kids (Aaron and Caleb) and a sick hubby this week. Some kind of mild flu-like bug or something. I just kept praying that I would stay healthy until After church tomorrow. It is ward conference and the primary is singing prelude and I would feel just AWFUL calling a sub.

* Aaron and Katrina are enjoying Farworld. We are about 1/4 the way through. (Its a 400+ page book) I gave up on trying to wait and I finished reading it yesterday. Aaron was mad that I read ahead and Tim's perspective was that it was a waste of my time since I'm just reading again anyway to the kids, but HELLO! I couldn't wait anymore to see how it ended. Now I just have to wait until book 2 comes out...

* Aaron seems to be doing better in school. Usually seems to have a better attitude about it.

* Bryan is SO STINKIN' CUTE!!! I have the hardest time telling him no, cause he is just so adorable. I took him out with me tonight to run a couple errands and in both stores, the cashiers were completely enamored with him.

Like I said, nothing exciting or really amazing, but at least you know what I'm up to.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Another funny thing at our house today. (I'm kinda starting to feel like I live on a comedy show...)

Aaron had a friend over to play. We'll call him "Mr T." I was on the phone talking to a friend when Aaron come running in, out of breath and says "Mom, I need the phone right now!!! It is an emergency!"

I didn't see any blood or hear any screaming, so I wasn't too concerned. "What is the emergency?"

"I need to call Mr's T's mom right now! It is an EMERGENCY!!!"

"Tell me what happened."

"Well, Mr T was going to the bathroom, and Pee exploded everywhere. It's all over his pants and he needs his mom to bring him some new pants."

"WHAT? How did that happen?"

"I don't know... I need to call his mom."

I hung up and let him call. Soon Mr T came upstairs and sure enough, he looked like someone had turned a hose on him. I asked him, "Mr T, what happened?"

"Well, I had to go to the bathroom really bad, and I went in the bathroom, but my bladder just exploded!"

So, there you have the scoop. Maybe I'll have to hang a sign on the door - "BEWARE - - EXPLODING BLADDERS"

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

J Scott Savage "FARWORLD" follow-up

just on a bit of a brighter note...

The book Farworld really is a good one. I've read the first 2 chapters to Aaron and Katrina and they are really enjoying it. (so am I - I've actually read ahead up to chapter 7 or 8, don't remember exactly. It's really good so far, and I just started. I have to take it slow, since Aaron doesn't like it when I read ahead of him - I can just read so much faster when I'm not reading aloud! and we all know I'd WAY rather be reading than cleaning!!!)

another slump!

I WAS doing really well. Everyday from Jan 1st until Sunday I cleaned the kitchen. It looked great. I felt good about it and what I was getting done each day. Because the house was cleaner, I felt free to take more time to read my scriptures, play and do school time with Trina and Bryan, do other "fun" things etc... and I was just all around happier.
Sunday threw me a curve ball when all day I felt like the house slave.

My day went pretty much like this: make breakfast, clean up some of breakfast, get everyone ready and to church by 9, come home and make lunch, clean up again, throw together cheesy potatoes for dinner and start the ham cooking, go to choir practice, come home, finish making preparations for dinner, eat dinner, clean up some of dinner (not much since at this point I was SICK of the the kitchen and well into QUITTING/mad at the world mode, then went to yet another meeting.

When I got home, Tim had done some cleaning up, but not a lot. (inhis defense I left all four kids home with him while iI was gone.) I just couldn't bring myself to clean it up, so I went to bed. Monday I had a dr. appt, so by the time I got back to the kitchen Monday afternoon, there were dishes from Sunday night, Monday morning, and Monday lunch all waiting for me. I was overwhlemed and frustrated that all of my effort and hard work was so easily undone, and while I made a few half-hearted stabs at restoring the order, I have yet to earn another "clean the kitchen" point - which in turn leads to feelings of the BLAHS, which leads to not doing other things on my list, which leads to more BLAH feelings. You get the general idea.

I HAVE gone walking each night this week, and that is good. We have started running 1 lap of each mile. Not much yet, I know, but we will SLOWLY work to increase that amount. I am going to try tomorrow to buckle down and get the kitchen cleaned up again. It really does make SUCH a difference in my mood. It is just so tough to maintain. I feel like I am climbing a huge mountain, hard enough for me to climb in and of itself, with people just hanging onto me trying to pull me back down. I am living the proverbial one step forward and two steps back - only mine is more like 1 step forward 10 steps back...

Well - here's hoping that tomorrow I have a super great day and you see the graph on the "jeri's goals" tracker shoot back up again!.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"J. Scott Savage"

(this post won't be nearly as interesting or funny to most of you as it was to me, but just try to read everything Aaron said with as much excitement, passion, and youthful exuberance as possible, and you'll at least get the general idea.)

Yesterday when I picked Aaron up from school he said,


Me - Why?


Me - That sounds cool, we can plan to go.

Later that night...
"DON'T FORGET MOM THAT TOMORROW AT 7:00 WE HAVE TO GO ..." (repeat earlier conversation)

This morning...
"MOM, DON'T FORGET THAT ...." (you guessed it)

After school today, "MOM, DID YOU FORGOT WHAT TODAY IS?!?!?!"

(I couldn't help myself and I replied) "it's Tuesday, you have scouts."


So, anyone wanna guess what we did tonight?

While we were standing in line Aaron was just bursting with excitement.

"I CAN'T BELIEVE IT - I GET TO MEET J SCOTT SAVAGE. (yes, I know I keep repeating the whole entire name, but I'm just trying to help you feel like you were really there...) I CAN'T BELIEVE HE WROTE A WHOLE BOOK-AND HE'S NOT EVEN OLD-HE DOESN'T HAVE A BEARD OR ANYTHING-HE IS JUST LIKE A REGULAR DAD-AND HE WROTE A WHOLE BOOK-I DON'T KNOW HOW HE DID THAT-"

After standing in line for about 30-40 minutes, we got to the signing table, bought a book, and Aaron was in HEAVEN! He got his book signed, and we got a poster signed for each child. Mr. Savage was so nice to the kids. He even took the time to listen while Bryan spelled out his name, asked how old Bryan was, then complimented him on being so smart that he was only 3 and could spell his whole name. He was just SO personable. I was very impressed.

As we walked away from the table, Aaron said,

"Mom, that was SO TOTALLY worth it! I just met J. Scott Savage."

All the way home he kept repeating "I just met J Scott Savage. I just met J Scott Savage. I just met J Scott Savage." He spent most of the drive home trying to teach Bryan to say "J Scott Savage." (Bryan doesn't really say his "s" sound yet, so it was a bit challenging for Aaron, but fun for me to listen to.

It was so funny, because he had never even heard of "J. Scott Savage" or the book "Farworld" until yesterday in school. Now he is totally on fire and wants us to read the book as a family. I think it is so great that this experience has totally lit a fire under Aaron about a book. Reading is such a challenge for him, yet he can't wait for us to start reading it. It's way above his current reading level, but I'm thinking if he gets hooked enough, it's going to give that reading level a big boost! I really appreciate this author for taking the time to go to the school and put on an assembly that was so obviously inspirational for the children. (There were tons of kids at the signing whose parents told the same basic story - that they just HAD to come...) You could be a cynic and say the it's just good marketing or a way to increase book sales, but I watched him interacting with the kids tonight, and you could tell that he wasn't there just to make money. He was there to gets kids to love reading. I am SO hoping that this is going to continue to be the catalyst that helps Aaron conquer his reading challenges!


"Magic is not just spells. The magic you see on the outside—making pots and pans fly or brewing potions to make boys swoon before you—is but a tiny fraction of the power of true magic. The real power of magic lies within you. Who you are, what you do, and most importantly of all, what you may become."

Master Therapass, Farworld Book 1 Water Keep

I have lots of of blogger buddies that participated in the Farworld virtual book tour. Here is a link to what I think was my favorite review. (certainly the most imaginative)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Laughing it up in Primary -

As you know, I am the music chorister in Primary. It love it! I have a lot of fun and I just love the children and the songs and feeling the spirit....

Today I was teaching the jr primary the song "The Family is of God." We had been talking (and singing) about how we are all part of Heavenly Father's family, and we lived with Him before we came to earth.

Then I asked what I thought (silly me) was a basic question, "How did we each get to earth?"

the responses I got:


"we drived in our cars."

"Jesus sent us."

At this point, I gave them a couple clues. I had Sister B. (8 months pregnant) stand up and rub her belly, and I had Sister W. hold up her new baby.


Whew - Glad we got that cleared up! You know what they say, "ask a silly question..."


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Bryan funny

Tonight we were in the midst of an Aaron homework tantrum (that lasted an hour and a half) and Tim said, "I bet Bryan could figure out that math problem." He brought Bryan up to the kitchen and set out 9 pencils on the table, in sets of 3. ( the math problem was 3 x 3, which Aaron knows and can do, but he was in his stubborn tantrum mode and it was awful!)

ANYWAY, Tim asks Bryan something like, "If you have 3 groups with 3 pencils in each group, how many pencils are there all together?"

Bryan confidently answered, "FIVE."

Tim - "Five? Count the pencils and see how many there are." (now keep in mind here that Bryan can easily count to 13. after 13 he starts to jump around a bit...)

Bryan counting, "1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 5!"

We all just started laughing!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


** if you are in a hurry, just skip to the end and watch the video of Aaron - I think it is HILARIOUS! **

A couple days ago (I think it was Saturday) we took this picture of our back yard with just a light dusting of snow. (as much as I HATE driving in snow, I think it is beautiful and I love looking at it...)

Monday it started snowing, not hard, just constant, and it's basically been snowing since then. The news tonight said we have received 8 inches over the past 2 days, but according to my very scientific RULER measurements, we are up to more like 10 or 11! Here is a picture taken from the same spot today. (notice the little dwarf pine in the left bottom corner is all but covered in the second picture)

As you can see, the birds are happily eating all around the feeder, which leads to the next photo. It is NOT a great picture, but if you look closely you can see the outline of what we believe is a Coopers Hawk. (looks like a peregrine falcon, but according to Tim's Internet research, peregrines don't often come down and hunt at feeders, but it is common for Coopers Hawks to do that...) At any rate, he likes to come perch in this tree and hunt at our feeder. It is SO awesome to watch. In fact, the first time we saw him, he was perched right on top of that post you see in the first photo, the one the bird feeder is hung on... I almost feel guilty, like I am setting a trap for the poor little birds, but I suppose it's all a part of the "circle of life" eh?

After I got home from doing afternoon carpool, the snow just seemed to call to Aaron, he got out of the van and into the snow. Here he is:

The inner child in me (that has been MIA for about 10+ years) came out of no where and decided to get into the action. I did a running leap/somersault thing in the snow. Amazingly enough, I didn't hurt myself. Aaron (after laughing, being amazed, and wondering what alien spirit had come over me) thought it looked fun and wanted to try it. I ran in and got the camera and took this video:

(I was laughing so hard I about wet my pants, and if you listen closely, you can hear Aaron laughing from under the snow.)

The kids talked me into getting dressed up in my snow clothes and playing outside for them for about an hour and 1/2. It was really fun. I mostly used the time to shovel the sidewalk and driveway AGAIN, and to help the two neighbors shovel theirs as well, but it was intermingled with digging snow tunnels and caves, sledding down the hill, making snow angels, and having a snowball fight with the neighbors.

Dinner was late, my hair was soaked, there is a big pile of wet clothes just inside the front door, and we were 15 minutes late for cub scout pack meeting . . . but we had FUN! (and tonight Aaron told me, "I can tell that you love us mom, because you played in the snow with us for a long time!" You just can't beat that)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Joe's goals - for Jeri


If you look on the left side of the page, you'll see a new feature. It is courtesy of Joe's goals is basically the same type of system I set up on my own last year to track the work I did during the day. The plus about this is that I don't have to do anything but enter the goals, and check them off when I complete them. Plus he provided a little thing (is it called a "widget" maybe???) for my blog.

The spreadsheet I set up for myself had a whole bunch of things that I could earn points for, and I found that I could still get lots of points without doing some of the ESSENTIAL things like prayer and scripture. I am using Joe's site to track the key elements of each of my new years goals. (and having the visual tracker thing here on my blog will hopefully spur me on to do a bit better than I might otherwise do...)

for my "improve my overall health" goal, I am tracking 1) 30 minutes (min.) of exercise 2) 8 glasses of water and 3) NO CHOCOLATE. (my unwritten goal is to lose 25 lbs this year, but I know you aren't supposed to set "weight loss" goals, so I just have that in my minds as the reward for what I hope will be the result of less junk food, no chocolate, and more whole foods, exercise, and water...)

for my "establish a house of order" goal, I am tracking 1) clean the kitchen 2) 15 minutes per day de-cluttering/organizing 3) flylady's daily mission and 4) doing school/learning time with katrina and bryan during the day

and for my "increase testimony and personal spirituality" goal I am tracking 1) scripture study 2) prayer/meditation 3) writing in my journal

in order to accomplish everything I want to do each day and to be healthy, I am also tracking if I am awake and out of bed by 7am

I can earn a total of 10 points each day. (eating chocolate is -1, so if I DO everything right, but give in to my addiction and eat some chocolate, I will only score a total of 9)

I'm hoping this will help me really focus on the basics and get into the habit of doing these things on a regular, daily basis. None of them are particularly difficult, but I sure have a tough time doing them consistently.

So there you have it.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

I think this year it is appropriate to "reduce reuse and recycle." I am, of course, speaking of my 'new years resolutions..." first I think I'll REDUCE my expectations, then I'll reuse/recycle my goals from last year. (Since I really didn't make much progress at all...) Here's hoping 2009 will prove to be a bit better.

We had a great Christmas and a very calm New Year's Eve. My mom let the kids (except Caleb) have a sleep over at her house. They were so excited. I need to leave now to go pick them up, but it's so nice and quiet I really don't want to...

Hope ya'll had a great holiday season and here's hoping we all have a great 2009!