The Birds are Tweeting!

We left the window open in Birdy’s room all night the other night and when DMP went to go and get her up, she exclaimed “Dada, the birds are tweeting and I’m awake!

I’m biased, but she is so dang smart. Thanks to the shape-o-ball, she knows her shapes.  On a recent walk, everything had to be examined and named. “look Dada, triangle!” (About a crack in the sidewalk).  “Look Dada, snow rocks!” (about white landscaping rocks).  It is both fun and maddening to go for a walk with her. Stopping to examine every leaf, crack and squished bug makes for very slow going!

May 23, 2009. Uncategorized. 2 comments.

North Carolina Confrence

As many of you know, I recently did some travel for work.  This confrence took me to the NGS confrence in Raleigh, North Carolina.  In spite of the 5 (yep, 5) flights and a rental car snafu, it was a lot of fun.

For the first time ever, I flew over my hometown- I was pretty excited 🙂

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I got in on the last flight of the night at 12:40 only to find that Alamo, where I had reserved my rental car, closed at 12:00. Wha?!?!  So this is me in the abandoned pick-up area of the airport waiting for a super shuttle at 2:30. Can you tell I”m fervently hoping no one will come by and kill me?!?!

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I didn’t get to do much sightseeing, but I was amazed at how many trees there are in Raleigh. Being a desert-baby I couldn’t believe that they were everywhere and no one had to plant them. I did get away to visit the North Carolina History museum. It is in the city center near the capitol and this old church (built abt. 1830).

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Meatless May also took a temporary break because, when in the South, you have to have BBQ.  North Carolina is apparently known for it’s vinegar-based BBQ and it is goooood. 

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No, I didn’t eat this plate of food by myself, I shared with a co-worker.  In case you were wondering, we had ribs, brisket, and some really, really good meatloaf.  The sweet potato fries were delish, and I enjoyed the fried okra, too. It is kind of like fried zuchini.  I was also had hushpuppies for the first time- they can only be described as little fried balls of happiness.  The biscuits were awesome, too.

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I met some really interesting people on the plane back home. On one leg, I sat next to a guy who was coming home from protesting Obama’s Notre Dame commencement speech.  He had spent the night before in jail.  We had a very interesting discussion on abortion, gay rights and whatnot.

Another plane mate I met pretty much shared the whole trip. He was going from Raleigh to SLC to turn in his final project. Apparently there is a pretty well-known violin-making school in SLC and he is one of only 3 people in this year’s graduating class. One of these handmade violins takes about 200 hrs to make and sells (on the low end) for about $6,000.  I asked him to let me take a picture while he was checking on it between flights.

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Over all, I really, really enjoyed talking to and connecting with the people that use Ancestry and understand what makes them tick.  Like this nice lady. She brought these books she had made using Family Tree Maker to our booth to show them off. They are over 1,500 pages of her tree, stories, pictures and etc.  Amazing.

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I missed DMP and the girls like crazy and was so, so, so glad to get home (and it only was partially due to the 3 flights I had to take).  No one missed me too terribly while I was gone (except Chester) but they were all really glad when I came home. Birdy kept kissing me and sitting on my lap with her hand on my chin saying “I luff you!”. 

EJ was very excited to see me too, but it might have had something to do with the presents I brought- giveaways from other confrence booths!  They loved ’em!

May 22, 2009. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. 3 comments.

Determination

Helen KellerWe recenly re-aquired the “Value Tales” books from Mom’s house (Thanks Mom!) and have been using them for FHE.  Our first book was about Helen Keller and the value of Determination.

EJ loved the new FHE format- we got to read a book with lots of pictures, and she really “got” the story of Helen Keller. It was also an appropriate value, since we’ve been working with her on not giving up when tasks are hard.

When I took the girls out on my new bike in the bike trailer for the first time, I didn’t realize that the ENTIRE ride home is uphill. I’m not in the best of shape anyway, and adding 70 lb of kids in a bike trailer didn’t make the climb easier.  I asked the girls to cheer me on and we talked about Helen Keller and not giving up.

About a week later, EJ was riding her little bike around the front of our house. There is a “loop” of sidewalk and on one side there is a bit of an incline.  She was struggling to ride up the small hill and said “Look Mom, I’m determinationing!”

May 20, 2009. Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Attention Fellow Readers!

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I just discovered a new site last week that I’m really excited about. It is called paperbackswap.com.  Basically it is a site where you can post your unwanted (or already read) books and swap them with others for FREE. 

Here’s how it works- you upload a book to your “bookshelf” someone who is looking for that book “requests” it and you agree to send it to them. You send the book at your cost (about 2.50) and when they receive the book, you get a “credit” that you can use to request a book of your own which someone will send to you at their cost.

I know a lot of you are like me and go through a lot of books. I love to pick them up at thrift stores or DI rather than the library because I usually have  a big “to be read'” pile.  This way I can get all the books I want to read in a very low-risk way. 

I was also suprised at how easy it was to add my books- you just enter the ISBN number (on the back by the bar code usually) and it already has the picture and data for you.  I added about 15 books in about 10 min.

The UI of the site could use some help- it is pretty clunky and akward to really browse books- particularly in “narrowed down” categories (like children’s books for ages baby – 3) but if you use the search feature, it works out OK.

When you get started, if you upload 10 books, you automatically get 2 credits so you can start receiving books. Warning: shameless plug. If you do decide to join and add 10 books, enter my email address or username (mak-p) and I get a credit (i.e. free book) too!

Happy reading!  If you try it out, let me know how you like it!

May 12, 2009. Tags: , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Baby Birdy

Happy Mother’s day to all of the current, soon-to-be, and future Mommies that visit my blog.  I love this quote:

“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. The choice is different and unique for each mother and each family… What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else.”

M. Russell Ballard, Ensign, May 2008, 108-10

So to all those mothers whom I love the most (Hi Mom! Hi DMP’s Mom!), here is a link to a little video of EJ singing 2 songs for her school Mother’s Day program last week. Click here and enter our dog’s name (lowercase) as the password. (Oh and don’t mind the bad wardrobe choice + sitting cross-legged :))

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Happy Mom’s Day!

May 10, 2009. Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Beloved Childhood books + Movies = Mixed

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Two of my favorite picture books are being released in movie form this year. First up is “Where the Wild Things Are” and the trailer for this one looks freakin’ awesome- I can’t wait. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend that you check it out.

The other (lesser known) book that is being made into a movie is a current favorite with our girls – “Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs“.  From the cool lino-cut/etched illustrations, to the silliness of food falling from the sky, this book is a classic that launches many fun discussions with the kiddos.

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The movie version, however, looks like it will be a disaster.  Check it out here and then come back and read the rest. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

So it appears that the only thing it has in common with the book is food falling from the sky and a giant pancake that falls on the school. The rest seems to be a lame-o kid movie complete with gags, fart jokes and all-around lameness.

I get that it is hard to translate a 20-ish (or less) storybook into a movie with a plot and all, but really- I think CWACOM has enough drama to fill a movie- everything is happy and then the food gets wierd, then giant and everyone has to make boats out of stale giant bread and peanutbutter and escape. Isn’t that enough, Hollywood?

Ooops- sorry to anyone that hasn’t read it- I just gave away the whole plot!

May 7, 2009. Uncategorized. 3 comments.

Two-year-olds ROCK!!!!

I can’t get Birdy to smile for the camera these days (or do anything on command, come to think of it).  She is a generally happy kid, mostly, but more and more we are seeing a lot of these kinds of faces these days.

Exhibit A- The Birdy Scowl:

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Exhibit B: The “Awwww” (you have to say it in your best whiny-kid voice):

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And finally, Exhibit C: The “I sad”:

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And yes, her hair does always look like that.  Like Birdy, it tends to do it’s own thing and she is adamant that we not brush, “do” or play with it. Ever.  Sometimes (OK, most of the time) it isn’t worth the hassle.

The upside? We get a lot of these faces from big Sissy:

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May 6, 2009. Tags: , . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

We are ready for Summer

We are getting excited (and geared up) for summer.  Last summer, we bought a tent, so this summer we are getting ready to go use it.  We got some camp chairs for the girls:

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I got a bike and we got a bike trailer for the girls.

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The girls LOVE the trailer. I think the time they’ve spent in it sets a record for the most time they’ve spent in close proximity without bickering or fighting.

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We even busted out the summer clothes. We are ready to go!

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I just want to know what happened to Birdies chubby legs (commonly called “chubby bubbies” ’round these parts). Her legs have gotten so LONG and skinny over the winter!

DMP got his childhood fishing rod last time we were in Salmon, and he has been teaching the girls how to cast. EJ is a rock star and can cast FAR. 

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Birdy is still learning, but hopefully she’ll be ready for our first family fishing trip!

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May 4, 2009. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. 4 comments.

Tulip Festival 2009

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We went to the Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point with Cynj and the boys yesterday. It was so much fun and beautiful. The weather was perfect for picture taking (overcast and warmish), so of course the girls wouldn’t cooperate!  But here is our story in pictures.

Enjoy!

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The End!

May 3, 2009. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. 4 comments.