Thursday, July 31, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
In college I actually liked reading many of my texts. Of course my minor in English meant I got to read all kinds of books that I already liked: Pride and Prejudice, Huck Finn, The Great Gatsby, etc..
I also got to discover books like I Heard the Old Fisherman Say, The Vanishing Hitchhiker, and Speak Bird, Speak Again. Fisherman is filled with traditions, superstitions, and stories from fisherman in the Texas Gulf Coast area (where I grew up). Hitchhiker is like a college version of the book Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark that we all read in elementary school and junior high. It compares different versions of the same stories and tries to track down where the stories originated. Speak Bird, on the other hand, is like nothing you've ever read. It is filled with Palestinian and Arab folktales that are strange and very funny. Some have similar themes or motifs to our own fairy tales, like Cinderella or Hansel and Gretel, but are so strange they may not be noticeable right away. My favorite is about a woman who farts in front of the vizier and gets swallowed up in the earth in her embarrassment. She has to go looking for her fart who, by the way, wears a very fine coat and hat.
I also rediscovered some books like Frankenstein, which I like better than I did in high school, but it still is a book I like to make fun of and probably won't pick up on my own.
Anyway, I guess since we've moved and I haven't met many people yet I've reverted back to my old friends--books. Since we've been here I've bought at least three books for me and a few others for the kids. It's a good thing I can get myself to Borders. . . . Plus, we've been to the library about six times already. I also plan on reserving a couple books soon, the new Stephenie Meyer and the new Brandon Sanderson.
When we got to our new apartment one of the first things to get set up was the bookshelf. Nathan had it all full of books before the kids and I arrived. When we got here and I started unpacking boxes I found more books. Then I unpacked more boxes and found more and more books. Every time I open a box there are books in it. Our bookshelf is over flowing as books are hiding behind other books. Here is a picture. Now keep in mind that we do still have a couple boxes that probably have a few books hiding in them, that I currently have a bathroom book and two books on my bedroom dresser. So there are at least three that aren't on the shelf. Oh what the hay, I'll go grab them and put them on a shelf before I take the picture. I also just bought an audio book for my iPod, but seeing as that one doesn't need to be on the bookshelf, we won't worry about that one. Don't forget the two books that really won't fit on the bookshelf, they are standing against it on the right. Those are Nathan's atlas and Cosmos books.
Now that I'm looking at it, I realize I need to go out and buy some more books. The void above the Stephenie Meyers books is haunting me. I need to fill it. Guess I'm going to Borders on Monday.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
200 Have and Have-nots!
1. Touched an iceberg
2. Slept under the stars
3. Been a part of a hockey fight
4. Changed a baby's diaper
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Swam with wild dolphins
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a tarantula
10. Said "I love you" and meant it
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Stayed up all night long and watched the sun rise
15. Seen the Northern Lights
16. Gone to a huge sports game
17. Walked the stairs to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
19. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
20. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Bet on a winning horse
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Taken an ice cold bath
28. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Ridden a roller coaster
31. Hit a home run
32. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
33. Adopted an accent for fun
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Felt very happy about your life, even for just a moment
36. Loved your job 90% of the time
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Watched wild whales
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Gone on a midnight walk on the beach
41. Gone sky diving
42. Visited Ireland
43. Ever bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited India
45. Bench-pressed your own weight
46. Milked a cow
47. Alphabetized your personal files
48. Ever worn a superhero costume
49. Sung karaoke
50. Lounged around in bed all day
51. Gone scuba diving
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Done something you should regret, but don't
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Been in a movie
60. Gone without food for 3 days
61. Made cookies from scratch
62. Won first prize in a costume contest
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Been in a combat zone
65. Spoken more than one language fluently
66. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone
67. Bounced a check
68. Read - and understood - your credit report
69. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy
70. Found out something significant that your ancestors did
71. Called or written your Congress person
72. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
73. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
74. Helped an animal give birth
75. Been fired or laid off from a job
76. Won money
77. Broken a bone
78. Ridden a motorcycle
79. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100 mph
80. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
81. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing
82. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
83. Eaten sushi
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read The Bible cover to cover
86. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
87. Gotten someone fired for their actions
88. Gone back to school
89. Changed your name
90. Caught a fly in the air with your bare hands
91. Eaten fried green tomatoes
92. Read The Iliad
93. Taught yourself an art from scratch
94. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
95. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt
96. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
97. Been elected to public office
98. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
99. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
100. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
101. Had a booth at a street fair
102. Dyed your hair
103. Been a DJ
104. Rocked a baby to sleep
105. Ever dropped a cat from a high place to see if it really lands on all fours
106. Raked your carpet
107. Brought out the best in people
108. Brought out the worst in people
109. Worn a mood ring
110. Ridden a horse
111. Carved an animal from a piece of wood or bar of soap
112. Cooked a dish where four people asked for the recipe
113. Buried a child
114. Gone to a Broadway (or equivalent to your country) play
115. Been inside the pyramids
116. Shot a basketball into a basket
117. Danced at a disco
118. Played in a band
119. Shot a bird
120. Gone to an arboretum
121. Tutored someone
122. Ridden a train
123. Brought an old fad back into style
124. Eaten caviar
125. Let a salesman talk you into something you didn’t need
126. Ridden a giraffe or elephant
127. Published a book
128. Pieced a quilt
129. Lived in an historic place
130. Acted in a play or performed on a stage
131. Asked for a raise
132. Made a hole-in-one
133. Gone deep sea fishing
134. Gone roller skating
135. Run a marathon
136. Learned to surf
137. Invented something
138. Flown first class
139. Spent the night in a 5-star luxury suite
140. Flown in a helicopter
141. Visited Africa
142. Sang a solo
143. Gone spelunking
144. Learned how to take a compliment
145. Written a love-story
146. Seen Michelangelo’s David
147. Had your portrait painted (not painted, but done in pencil)
148. Written a fan letter
149. Spent the night in something haunted
150. Owned a St. Bernard or Great Dane
151. Ran away
152. Learned to juggle
153. Been a boss
154. Sat on a jury
155. Lied about your weight
156. Gone on a diet
157. Found an arrowhead or a gold nugget
158. Written a poem
159. Carried your lunch in a lunchbox
160. Gotten food poisoning
161. Gone on a service, humanitarian or religious mission
162. Hiked the Grand Canyon
163. Sat on a park bench and fed the ducks
164. Gone to the opera
165. Gotten a letter from someone famous
166. Worn knickers
167. Ridden in a limousine
168. Attended the Olympics
169. Can hula or waltz
170. Read a half dozen Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys books
171. Been stuck in an elevator
172. Had a revelatory dream
173. Thought you might crash in an airplane
174. Had a song dedicated to you on the radio or at a concert
175. Saved someone’s life
176. Eaten raw whale
177. Know how to tat, smock or do needlepoint
178. Laughed till your side hurt
179. Straddled the equator
180. Taken a photograph of something other than people that is worth framing
181. Gone to a Shakespeare Festival
182. Sent a message in a bottle
183. Spent the night in a hostel
184. Been a cashier
185. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
186. Joined a union
187. Donated blood or plasma
188. Built a campfire
189. Kept a blog
190. Had hives
191. Worn custom made shoes or boots
192. Made a PowerPoint presentation
193. Taken a Hunter’s Safety Course
194. Served at a soup kitchen
195. Conquered the Rubik’s cube
196. Know CPR
197. Ridden in or owned a convertible
198. Found a long lost friend
199. Helped solve a crime
200. Commented on Pam's blog.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
The rest of the time he's destroying, messing, throwing, or rampaging. Like this . . .
In this case he was very proud of washing his hands all by himself. When asked what he was washing his hands with he said, "Soap toothpaste." Nathan had a really good sense of humor with it so it was a good thing he was home. I don't think I would have laughed about it as quickly as he did.
Here is our fish tank and four fish. It now has a piece of bog wood in it which helps with the acidity of the water.
Just a couple cute pictures of Emma.
Jeremy playing with his birthday bubbles.
At our latest trip to the zoo we found a huge tortoise which Megan was able to pet. Jeremy liked to look at it, but was scared to touch it.
Jeremy loved the giraffes and could have watched them much longer than we let him. We had to stop by the giraffes "one more time" before we could leave to go home.
On Monday we went to the zoo again to see some of what we missed last week. We still haven't seen everything. The kids can only tolerate two sections of the zoo per visit. Good thing it's free on Mondays until Labor Day.
For my birthday breakfast Nathan made me æbleskivers (yum yum yum!). For the few of you who don't know what æbleskivers are, here is a picture of them being cooked. This picture is actually from a couple months ago when I made them all by myself for the first (and so far only) time.
And here is a picture of me with my birthday æbleskivers. We ate all of them except for about six of them in the one sitting. Jeremy quickly polished those six off about an hour after breakfast. Æbleskivers are like pancakes except shaped like little balls. It is a Danish food and a Buckner tradition. We like to open the æbleskivers and put jam inside, it is quite delicious.
For my birthday my thoughtful husband gave me a bluetooth headset for our computer. We use Skype on our computer for all our long-distance phone calls and I hate being tied down to the computer when I talk to people. Every time I call someone, usually my parents, the kids get into something or start fighting and I have to stop my conversation to keep the kids from killing each other or burning down the apartment. The bluetooth set lets me move around the apartment so I can take care of the kids, or fold laundry, sew, etc. and continue my conversation.
My mother-in-law sent me some lavender bath stuff: a poof, lotion, bath gel, etc., which I've already had to keep away from Jeremy. So I will hopefully be smelling nice as long as I can keep it all away from Jeremy who, for some reason, likes to get into bathroom stuff.
My parents sent me an iPod shuffle and a gift card for iTunes. Nathan put a bunch of songs on it for me, just from CDs and songs we already had on the computer and I used the gift card to buy an audiobook-Eragon-which I am enjoying immensely. They also treated us to dinner so we went to the Texas Roadhouse and it was SO GOOD!
We ended up getting home kind of late and didn't have time to make my birthday pie (I wanted pie this year for some reason) so we did that yesterday. Nathan made me an apple and strawberry pie. Here's a picture of it.
And here's a picture of it after we cut into it.
What are those strange colors on the pie, you may ask? Those would be the candles that melted into the pie. This way the kids could identify the pieces they wanted by announcing the color they liked best. Just kidding. Kind of. Nathan thought the pie was cooled enough to have the candles in it, but after a few minutes they were all melted. The pie was delicious, even with the tad bit of waxy goodness. The kids didn't even seem to notice the wax had a taste.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
1. My family
2. Playing games
3. Reading and Writing
do I really only get to pick three of everything? dang. the first thing that popped into my head for a fourth (and yes, I'm counting reading and writing as one because they are inseparable) was going to school, which unfortunately, I'm not doing.
1. Passing on all my bad habits to my kids
2. Nightmares (they just put me in a bad mood for the rest of the day, I had one a couple nights ago when Nathan was on a father/daughter camp-out where Paul and Amanda Jenkins were holding me hostage, weird, eh? Now of course I'm not really scared of the Jenkins, I'm friends with Amanda, and both of them have pulled me out of some annoying situations, but no one wants to be held captive, right?)
3. Death. Not mine, but others.
1. Being a better wife and mother
2. Workout twice a week
3. Finish the projects I've started
Three surprising facts about me:
1. My left ear lobe is attached, my right ear lobe is unattached.
2. I drove to the grocery store yesterday all by myself and didn't get lost (even though at one point I thought I was lost)
3. Today is my birthday
Three people I'm tagging:
1. Amber Anderson
2. Kim Montano
3. Emily Jobe
Well, that was fun! Too bad I could only pick three for each of the categories. I totally could have listed a lot more.
Monday, July 21, 2008
In seemingly unrelated news, Nathan bought himself his much desired fish tank (using Craigslist.com and getting a great deal) and has placed in it four rosy barbs. They look like this.
I asked Nathan if he was going to name the fish and he said he supposed he would and then proceeded to ask me if I liked the name Charles. Megan then piped up and started spouting off nonsense names like she usually does when she is naming her dolls and stuffed animals (remember her Webkins names? Swesty . . . ) We let the subject die soon after Megan's wonderful suggestions and I left the room to curl my hair for Church (unsuccessfully, by the way). Megan stayed with Nathan watching the fish and at some point in my futile attempt at hair styling Megan came in to ask me if the names she had just come up with for the fish would be alright. I asked her what the names were and she said: Sabrina, Valerie, Libby, and Harvey. We do have three females and a male, so the names fit gender-wise. So now we have fish named from a late 90's early 2000's TV show about a witch.
Also, Megan keeps pointing at things, shaking her finger violently, and then asking me, "Mom, why doesn't my magic work?"
picture of rosy barbs stolen from here.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
On Sunday Jeremy turned 2 years old. We had an ocean cake and blackberry ice cream. We spent the first part of the morning watching him open his presents from his wonderful grandmas and grandpas and Aunt Sarah and Uncle Mike. After Church we came home, had his birthday dinner of chicken a la king (which we've made twice this week and each time I've thought of you, Janeen! By the way, I'd like your recipe.) and then the cake and ice cream.
Then on Monday morning we went to the zoo to continue celebrating Jeremy's birthday. On Mondays the zoo is free for residents of Cuyahoga county. We showed our driver's licenses and they just let us in! We did buy tickets to get into the rain forest because that is a separate part of the zoo that isn't free on Monday and it was really cool! We did the rain forest first and spent quite a bit of time there. One of the animals we saw quite a bit in the rain forest was the Francois Monkey. These are really cute little monkeys with a white mustache. These two Francois Monkeys are hugging, so we got a picture of two of our little monkeys hugging.
The elephants were the first animals we saw after the rain forest.
Proof that Emma was there :o)
At the Australian Adventure area there was this snake tunnel that the kids loved.
Megan with Kangaroo Ears
Jeremy with Kangaroo Ears
They had an aviary where you could feed birds little cups of nectar. Here is Megan helping me feed this bird.
Here's the thing. Every time I'm on the ferry at Galveston, inevitably someone yells, "Ew! A seagull pooped on me!" I was reminded of this about five seconds too late. Yes, the bird turned around, opened it's little birdie butt, and proceeded to let loose. I freaked out and threw my hand back, spilling the nectar on me and an old woman next to me. I don't know if the bird missed pooping on me or not since my hand was covered in nectar.
The cute koalas. Here's a question. Why are they called koala bears if they aren't bears at all?
Jeremy loved this hand thing. He didn't want to leave it and threw a fit when we made him keep walking.
All in all, it was a great birthday for Jeremy. He got some clothes, money, a sheriff's badge, sidewalk chalk, a toy laptop, bubbles and bubble-making toys, his own box of cereal and his own pack of juice boxes which he doesn't have to share. Lots of fun!
I have a video of the presentation of the birthday cake which I will post as soon as Nathan gets it up on the computer.
Monday, July 14, 2008
If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven played music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.
-- Martin Luther King, Jr
Saturday, July 12, 2008
He got us TV for less than $9. Nathan went to Home Depot, bought wire, a board, some screws and washers, put them together, and voila! An antenna is born! An antenna that gets us the FOX channel, so now we can watch House on our TV instead of our computer, having to wait a week to watch the old episodes. We also get the other basic channels, so I'm excited to be able to watch the news every once in a while and see if there are any good kid shows for Megan and Jeremy. However, I have discovered my disdain for HD. I think it's incredibly ineffective. TV shouldn't depend on clear days and go out on rainy days. Anyway, I just had to share with everyone the genius of my wonderful husband!
I've tried to make the water taste decent, but no amount of lemon juice and sugar are able to help here. The stuff is plain nasty. It tastes like a toilet smells. I've saved some empty Gatorade bottles and filled them with water, then put them in the fridge in hopes that making the water really cold will help. Unfortunately it just makes it taste like really cold toilet water.
Here's a tip: If you ever go swimming in Lake Eerie, don't open your mouth ever-it tastes like a toilet.
Nathan was kind enough to buy me powdered Gatorade so I can make my own Gatorade and not have to taste the toilet anymore. I don't know how other people get by here. The kids haven't seemed to notice a difference in the quality of water while Nathan just doesn't seem to care that his water tastes nasty.
So I guess that's one more thing about Utah and Texas that I miss. Never thought I'd miss Logan water. It took me five years to get used to it so I only had one year drinking it without being grossed out. My parents have Culligan delivered, so they always have good water. But even before then, the tap water always tasted great.
One fun thing was while we were waiting for the show to start, we watched the area around us for lightning bugs. There are a ton of them here! All over the place. A couple days ago Nathan went outside and caught one. He put it in a jar and brought it upstairs to show the kids as they were going to bed.
Last night we went to the "This is Kirtland" pageant, which was awesome, and as we were leaving I saw tons and tons of lightning bugs. There were clusters of them all over the place. Even as we were driving on the highway I saw them.
The Kirtland pageant was really impressive. It was entertaining and well done. The Martin Harris pageant in Logan was popular, but when I saw it years and years ago I wasn't impressed. I'm sure it was just me, but I've never had a desire to go back to it. The Kirtland pageant was fun to watch and I think Megan and I will audition for it next year. It will be a fun thing we can do together, and since it goes on in the summer, Nathan can take care of Jeremy and Emma while Megan and I have practice, that is if we make it. I haven't acted in anything in a long, long time. I miss it. I always forget how much I miss acting until I go see a play or musical.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
As far as meal time, one thing that has helped us lately is a star chart. Nathan made one for the kids. For each finished meal they get to put a star on their chart. When they get to the end of the chart they get a little prize, after so many charts they get a big prize. Megan decided she wanted a piece of candy for her little prize and a donut for her big prize. It's much cheaper when she decides her prizes than if I come up with something. I was prepared to buy her an umbrella, she's been asking for one for months.
Bedtime, well, I haven't really found anything for that yet. While we were in Texas I just let the kids stay up as late as they wanted because I couldn't get them to go to bed unless I was sleeping with them. I decided it wasn't worth it and just let them fall asleep in front of the tv.
So that's it so far. Bedtime hasn't been too big of an issue here in Ohio. Nathan and I have kept them up later because of various reasons, firework shows, special movie treats, and other random things and so they've been falling asleep in the car or on their own quite a bit. And of course there's Emma who is just the perfect baby and sleeps quite a bit still. I'll let you know if I find anything that works well for Megan and Jeremy. Don't forget to reply with your tricks for getting kids to behave, eat, and go to bed! We could all use the hints, tricks, and help!
I never thought I'd say it, but, I miss Utah. Of course I miss Texas more, but the fact that I can say, "I miss Utah," is just monumental. I miss all of our friends back in Logan and throughout the state, I miss being near a beautiful campus (yes the dental school is located in a nice part of the city, but we aren't close to it and there's lots of road construction around it), I miss having Church stuff nearby-the Temple, the Distribution Center, Deseret Book, etc., I miss having people who think like me and believe like me near.
So here we are in Ohio getting ready for dental school, trying to unpack all of our stuff, learning the insane road system (system, did I say system? There is no system, my mistake.) and getting used to the new ward. We have more than half our boxes unpacked-and a few stored in the half bath that we decided is more valuable as an extra closet-and of course quite a bit of stuff is just sitting around until I decide where to put it.
We discovered something quite amazing about our new apartment. Those of you who saw our previous apartment know just how tiny our kitchen was. I couldn't lay down in it, it was so small. Heck, Megan wouldn't have been able to lay down in the thing. The kitchen we have now is much bigger. Well, longer, anyway. Unfortunately, it has less storage space. How is that possible? I don't have a clue. There is a dishwasher, but that only takes up a small amount of space and I wouldn't give that up for more storage, no way! I love having a dishwasher!!
The kids' room has a fan which is terrific since it is blasting hot. Ok, maybe not blasting, but we're all pretty sweaty by mid-day. In fact, Megan was playing "camping" and fell asleep in the hallway where she set up her "sleeping bag" because it was so hot.
So this is why I haven't posted in a very long time. Please forgive me. We've just been really busy trying to unpack, get licenses, prepare for dental school, and indulge in our one guilty pleasure: watching at least two episodes of House each night. I'll try to be better about posting now that we are almost all unpacked.
I want to thank everyone that helped us move. I know it was a lot of hard work and we are very grateful to all of you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
"There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children."-M. Russell Ballard