Monday, February 22, 2010

Families are Forever

Saturday is a special, crazy, busy day for us. The kids have swim team, tumbling, and soccer games. We have errands to run and we have to get ready for church. Last Saturday was especially busy, and especially special.

We had the opportunity to go with my family to the temple. It was one of the best experiences I have had at the temple. My dad has been doing the paperwork to do the work for his dad and brother that each passed away over a year ago. My grandparents had not been sealed to their parents, or to each other, or to their three boys.

My grandma died January 5, 1998. I was able to go with her to the temple when I returned home from my mission. I thought of my grandma while we were at the temple. I know this was a happy day for her.

It was also great to be with almost all of my siblings (we missed you Melanie) and my Aunt and Uncle.

Families are Forever.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day Vegetarian

Every year for Valentine's we do a family dinner. (Mike and I go out on a different day--a long wait for a table doesn't make me feel romantic.) We wrap the table in white paper to draw on. I sprinkle it with M&Ms and we leave their Valentine's out. This year we had dinner with friends, so we did a special breakfast instead. Mike got all of us girls flowers and the boys a heart filled with chocolates. I gave Mike my traditional Valentine's mix CD.

We had heart-shaped pancakes with eggs and bacon.

It was a relaxing morning (one of the few benefits of 1:00 church.)

Background story: I have been reading the book, The Omnivore's Dilemma. I have been thinking a lot about where our food comes from and what our food contains. We try to eat healthy and we talk about it with the kids. Recently, Christian has been asking lots of questions specifically about, "what kind of animal we are eating." He also wants to know what part of the animal we are eating. We tell him and have a little discussion.

If these discussions occur while I am eating, I tend to lose my appetite. I struggle a little with meat myself--I go through phases where the smell of beef makes me sick, and then a few weeks later all I want is a hamburger. As a teenager, I went a few months without eating beef after visiting a slaughter house. I still only eat it occasionally. Pork, however--well, lately that is another story. You see, my sis-in-law Erika told me about these ribs at Costco. She really talked them up, so I decided to give them a try. I have only eaten ribs a few times in my life, and I did not like them. Well, that has changed. We have had enjoyed Curly's almost every week since. They are da bomb and I feel bad. This book is good and the information is important, but being informed sure has it's downsides. I wonder what they had to do that poor pig to make those ribs so yummy.

Back to Valentine's breakfast. Christian started with the questions because we ate real bacon--not the precooked kind that he is more accustomed to. We told him it comes from a pig. Then he said, "That's mean--it's animal cruelty. It's mean to eat animals." (I think some of his strong feelings come from having Tiger in the family. Whenever one of the animal abuse commercials comes on, the kids stop the tivo and watch it. They feel bad for them and say we should go get one.)

So, Mike told him that Heavenly Father gave us animals to use and to eat. I can see in Christian the same concerns I had...that I still have. I told him that if he decided he didn't want to eat meat that's called being a vegetarian and that he would have to eat other foods to make sure he is healthy and strong. I can see the wheels spinning. He may very well end up like me--always having mixed feelings about meat.

But, in the meantime, I will be heating up the grill--we've got us some Curly's to cook tonight.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

enculturating young minds

Anyone who knew me from about fifth grade on knows that I really liked Michael Jackson. I would sit by my boombox for hours waiting for one of his songs to come on so I could record it. I then actually spent my money and bought the Thriller tape. I don't remember how much it cost, but I was nine or ten-years-old, and I remember I had never spent that much money on anything before.

I forgot about him for a few years, but a few months before he died, I realized what I had been missing. As I loaded some of his tunes on the iPods, I also introduced the kids to these masterpieces. We watched some videos on YouTube, I played the songs, I (sort of) taught them the moonwalk. Let's just say it was an exercise in casting my pearls before swine. They liked Thriller, but not much else.

I decided we would give it one more shot. While driving home I used Mike's phone--the phone that is so much more than a phone--the phone that he has special feelings and attachment to--to use the Redbox app and find the Michael Jackson movie.

We got home, we got settled in and I waited for the magic to happen. About one minute into the show, Jessi, in all innocence, asked, "Is he a boy or a girl?" I should have realized this was a foreshadowing of how poorly the movie would be received by the swine.

Jessi was the only one that showed any real interest in the movie. She asked a few more questions about him and she danced to the music. Andrew, Bev and Christian watched intermittently while doing tumbling and wrestling. Mike tolerated it.

At some point, I let them all do their thing. I stopped saying, "Oh, watch this part." or "This is a great song." Also, I became uncomfortable with all of the crotch-grabbing. I knew he was a crotch-grabber, but I didn't realize just how much each song contained. It added up.
So, the moral of the story is this; I will leave my family be with the Michael Jackson indoctrination. They will have to discover his greatness on their own.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Why can't we all just get along?

Andrew and Mike have been playing RISK quite a bit lately. I don't know that I ever played it before tonight. It is a game that takes a good 2+ hours, so we scheduled a match for Thursday night. Round abouts 9 p.m. we got the reminder for our appointment--he had the board set out and was ready to teach me how to play.

I soon realized that I don't very much like the concept of the game--the whole to-win-you-have-to-take-over-the-world thing. Mike says (and I agree) that games like this provide an opportunity to learn to be a good loser (cause when you lose, you lose big,) to learn strategy and to learn a little geography. I chose to use it as an opportunity to teach Andrew a little Political Science lesson--specifically a lesson about allies.

Christian started off as my partner, so we took Asia. Because Asia is green. Once I had spent all of my troops getting Asia for the little guy, he disappeared to play with the cat (I try to get a post in every once in a while without mentioning her, but she's so awesome that it is impossible.)

Mike was looking pretty dangerous at the beginning. Andrew and I made a deal to not fight each other--we agreed to work together and live in peace, side by side. At first I thought I would just capture Asia and then just sit there and protect myself. Not part of the game. No, you must fight. So, only because we had to, Andrew and I slowly took Mike out. He let us, because otherwise we would still be playing.

I don't want to be the Debbie Downer of board games, but I just felt bad playing a game that glorifies oppressive global domination.

(Post edit: I really want to play that evil game again. It's sitting over there by the TV and I want to play it.)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Is all I'm saying is...

Whenever the kids go off track we sit down and make a game plan. Everyone gets to list a few things they would like to do, a few places they would like to go. Some things they look forward to are: going alone to Grandma and Grandpa's house for the day, going out to lunch, doing crafts, playing the Wii and DS's, going to Thanksgiving Point, Discovery Gateway, the Aquarium and going bowling.


My story with bowling is a love/hate sort of story. I grew up about 3 blocks away from the bowling alley. Grandpa "went to coffee" there every morning. It was always a treat when my dad would take us there for lunch--they made the yummiest burgers and fries. I distinctly remember the smell of the bowling alley--it was a mix of cigarette smoke, french fries and old sweat. I can't say I ever felt it was a sanitary sort of place, but I loved it. Every once in a while my parents took us there to bowl. I was never any good, although I believe it was a lack of interest more than a lack of skill.

I like going now because the kids love it. Today we met Mike for lunch and bowling. It is always an adventure. A few times Christian didn't stop running in time and finally stopped several feet down the lane before throwing the ball. Bev was helping Jessi use the ramp when the ball bounced on the lane and got lodged between the ramp and the bumper. We needed special assistance from the staff several times.

I will admit that at the beginning I used the bumpers a few times, but then I started getting my groove. I got a few spares and strikes. In the end, this happened:

That M, that stands for "Mom." When I pulled the camera out, Mike said that if I put this on the blog he would deny it and say that M is for Mike. I'm only posting this here to prove that this once happened. I also acknowledge that is not likely to happen again.