Friday, October 24, 2008

~When Rules Are Meant to be Broken~

I'm not a big country music fan, but did you know that at 2am, other than infomercials, that is all that's on? So, when I'm having one of those late nights CMT videos are what's playing in the background.

One night (or should I say morning?) I saw this video and was in tears by the end (the embedding has been disabled, so you'll have to follow the link):

Did you watch?

Have you finished wiping your tears?

Don't finish reading until you're finished crying.

Okay, so I downloaded it from Itunes (you can't download a version with Andy Griffith in it though, just straight Brad Paisley) and one day we were listening to it in the car.

Ratchet: "That man is so nice."

Me: "Why do you say that?"

Ratchet: "He doesn't mind waiting for his woman."

Me (stifling a laugh): "Do you think you'll mind waiting for your woman?"

Ratchet: "Welllllllll. Is it past my bedtime?"

(For the record, I will not in the future encourage Ratchet using "woman" as he did during this conversation.)

Monday, October 13, 2008


The PE teacher at the kids' school has this great program. Each month they get a blank calendar to fill out. If they exercise three times each week for at least 20 minutes they get a prize and get to put their names on a star on the wall. Then at the end of the year if they've completed at least six calendars they get medals during a ceremony in front of the school. The teacher was new to the school last year, so it just started then. At the end of the year six students got medals and MonaLisa and Ratchet were two of them. And they were amazing medals. Not cheap plastic. But really nice and even engraved on the back with what it was for.

Now, it's really easy for MonaLisa to get hers filled out. She has two days of dance (last year one day was gymnastics), plus Nutcracker rehearsal, physical therapy, and occupational therapy with Ratchet. Ratchet we have to go out of our way to get his. He has OT and walks home from school on Tuesdays. But he usually needs one more day.

So, while doing the VIP questionnaire Ratchet said he loved running. We were really surprised. I'm not a runner and never have been. But, lately I've considered starting and I thought I can keep up with a 7-year-old. So, today during MonaLisa's dance class we went for a "run." I just went at his pace and would run when he wanted to and walk when he wanted to. We went "around the block." According to we went 1.05 miles in 19 minutes. And it was so fun to do something like that with him. We had a great conversation.

Somehow during the middle of it I thought that if we continued this we might actually have something in common when he's a teenager. And I really like that idea.


Ratchet was the VIP for his class last week. Here is his Q&A:

Food: French Dip Sandwiches
Season: Winter
Color: Green
Book: Scooby Doo & the Mad Mermaid
Animal: Huskies

Hobbies: Running, Legoes, Computer Games
My Wish: That Star Wars was REAL!!!
What I do well: Bake cookies, play video games, and play
A person I admire: Daddy
What I like most about our school: PE

Here are the photos we sent in:

When Ratchet was about two, he and MonaLisa were fighting over a toy.
He fell on the toy and she landed on him.
He had to have his head glued shut.

Also, when he was about two, he found three bags of shred that Daddy left out.
I found him after he'd emptied all three bags. He was sitting in the middle
of it all, throwing it in the air and yelling, "SURPRISE!"

We were able to tour the carrier the USS Lincoln when it was in port.
Ratchet was fascinated by the mini fire trucks.

Ratchet and MonaLisa were Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia for Halloween last year.
They still wear these costumes weekly.

Here he is playing in the sand on the Gulf of Mexico while
visiting cousins in Texas last Thanksgiving. This beach
received a lot of damage during Hurricane Ike.

I love this picture. He totally was caught by this wave
while we were on vacation on the Oregon Coast this summer.

Just a few weeks ago MonaLisa was at a friends house. I asked
Ratchet what he wanted to do. He said, "Bake cookies."
So, he did, almost completely by himself.
Look at his face as he was putting them on the pan.

~Book List~

This list has been making the rounds on blogs.

The Big Read is a National Endowment for the Arts program designed to encourage community reading initiatives and of their top 100 books, they estimate the average adult has read only six.

Here’s what you are supposed to do:
*Look at the list and bold those we have read.
*Italicize those we intend to read.
*Star the books we LOVE.

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte *
4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6. The Bible (about 200 pages left)
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame (read half)
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34. Emma - Jane Austen
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50. Atonement - Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52. Dune - Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility- Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold *
65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses - James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal - Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession - AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte's Web - EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Sunday, October 05, 2008

~Giveaway Winner~

It's time for the drawing, but first of all, here's what people said:


1. I love you because you are as annoyed by people's bad grammar as I am.

2. And....because you know how to make all of the things I WISH I could do (like the banner). AND you make it look easy.

3. And because you make me laugh everytime I talk to you.


4. You are SO creative. I know everyone will say this, but the reason I'm so competitive is because I really want all the great stuff you make!

5. I like that you stand up for what you believe in, even if it is not the popular thing to do.

6. I do like that you are a font snob. Whenever I am choosing which font to pick, I always think "now which font did Becky tell me was the very best." I still don't know how to get to that ONE. Be a friend and share the love :)

D (my sister-in-law):

7. I love you because...even though you occassionally annoy the crap out of me, I think you're wonderful and amazing.

8. Even though we disagree poliltically, you don't argue with me about it.

9. Even though you don't like my dog and would have him thrown out of the fabric store in a heartbeat, you have a good heart, a strong testimony, and a love of Jesus Christ that I envy.

Dolls123 (who just has "giveaway" in her search engine and is just trying to win--people actually call most of these people bottom feeders. I deleted some of them, but she at least tried):

10. Because you're so crafty.


11. I have always been impressed with your ability to include everyone!!!

12. You don't know a stranger and I find that a great quality.

13. You're quick to invite all and are ALWAYS willing to serve others.

Melissa (my cousin, her blog is invite only):

14. I love you for your wit.

15. I love your willingness to serve others!

16. I also really love (and envy) your creativity and craftiness. :) I'm always amazed at what you can do.


17. I love you because you are so good, no great! at everything that you do. You spend all day and night doing things so that they turn out perfect!

18. I love you because you always want to have fun and laugh a lot.

19. I love that you are not afraid to voice your opinion. You are a strong person. I admire you and am also a little jealous of you. :)

JoAnn (at Pumpkin Petunia):

20. You are very friendly and helpful to strangers on other blogs. : )

21. You make adorable banners!

22. You are very lucky! (Go here to see what I won!!! She's super talented.)


23. You are not afraid to stand up for yourself and make sure that your needs are met, and you stand firm on the things that are important to you.

24. You have equal concern for others. You work hard to include everyone and stand up for them and their needs, too.

25. You are extremely organized and detailed, and go above and beyond on the tasks you take on.

26. You can always be counted on when you commit to something.

27. I have always been impressed by how close to the Spirit you are, and by how you unquestionably follow the promptings you receive.

Julie again:

28. I like how you are so busy and have so much you are always doing but you make it all look easy (or at least like you're having fun).

29. AND that all of the "stuff" you are always doing is for someone else. I wish I could say I was as selfless as you. OK, I could SAY it, but I would be lying :)

Lisa (cousin, sorry, her blog is private):

30. I love that you make me laugh every time I see you!

31. And that you give me all your used clothes for little boys because you have great taste in boy clothes.

32. And because even though I joined the family somewhat later than others, you always make me feel like part of the group.

Shannon again:

33. You make me laugh


34. You are the most considerate person I know when it comes to including everyone in group activities.

35. You are so creative, and its inspiring how you seem to always be working on a new project(which always turns out perfectly).

36. You definitely know how to sit, chat and have fun. I seem to always be laughing about something when we chat.

37. Everything you bake turns out so delicious.

38. I love how you genuinely care for the girls in YW, and seem to always be thinking about them.

So, according to the random integer generator the winner is:


So, Jenny, I'll bring it over soon.

And now I get to say what I love about each of you!!!

Julie: I love that you were willing to join me in Pink Christmas when no one else did. You are obviously very brave. And you have the best sense of humor. You can see the humor in all situations.

Shannon: I love your ability to love everyone. You are amazing and I'm so excited you get to be one of MonaLisa's Achievement Day Leaders. (I requested you, but was told probably not.)

D: I love what a good mother you are. You have so much patience and love for your children (and mine). I love how super-talented you are. You are an artist, a seamstress, and you can sing. I mean really sing. And I appreciate that you would never take a dog (or goat) into the Fabric Store.

Alisa: You are a great teacher. I loved attending your classes. You truly love each of the YW and have the amazing ability to get each of them to participate. And on a more temporal note, you have great legs.

Melissa: You are one of the most even-keeled people I know. You could totally feel overwhelmed and yet you seem so put together. I know I couldn't have three children under the age of seven and be married to a bishop and have your demeanor.

Maria: You are incredibly humble. I hope that you know how amazing you truly are. And I promise to visit teach this month (now it's in writing, you can call me on it).

JoAnn: You are really talented. I love your new Holiday items.

Alisha: Although you left us with hardly enough time to process; I love how balanced you are. You seem to get it all done and more. And I finally found the perfect reality show for you!!! It's even more perfect now. Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders: Making the Team. So it's too late for 2008, but you could totally be ready in 2009. Go here to find out info on tryouts. And we'll all be watching to see you on the field next fall!!! GOOOOO ALISHA!!!!

Lisa: I love your honesty and your intelligence. You're also really organized. And after reading your 100 list, I realized how much of the unique stuff we have in common.

Jenny: I love how open-minded you are. You would be the least shocked of all if I were to tell that I was once the maid-of-honor at a gay wedding, in Idaho, in the early 90s.

Thanks to all who played!!! I am so grateful to have such good friends. And I totally think it's time for a Girls Night Out.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

~A Change of Rules~

It's been a week and I only have 26 responses to my giveaway, so there is no longer a limit of three compliments (which means I added your extra one Alisha). So, you all better hurry before Shannon takes the last 12 spots!!!