Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Egg Beaters 1 - Zeke 0

When I was a little girl my best friend in the whole world lived all the way across town.  And I say it like that because when we used to ask for sleepovers, either set of parents would wrinkle up there noses and say,

"Maybe later, they live all the way across town."

And there would be no arguing with that because A - walking wasn't an option and B - I'm pretty sure I wasn't up to the two wheeled bike option yet.

So, on those rare sleepover adventures we made sure to get into as much mischief as possible.  We tromped through the snow chasing cows or who know what we were really trying to do, in the summer we'd swim in the water trough with the mosquito eating fish, and in general just eat candy until I was sick to my stomach. 

One very hot summer day we decided to make a potion consisting of raw eggs (a lot of them), dirt and a mayonnaise jar.  Shaken, not stirred of course.  And then left for far too long in the shed behind the wood pile.  For reasons I cannot recall today, I accidentally dropped the jar and it shattered in the shed. Causing the stinkiest, most gag worthy mess that had to be cleaned up before I went home for the day. 

And to this day I cannot lay eyes on scrambled raw eggs without feeling like I might toss my cookies at any moment.  It has also resulted in me absolutely needing to have my eggs cooked to death before I eat them.

Today on my honey-do list:
Buy the husband egg whites

Standing in the egg section at wal-mart I remember that I'm allergic to that eggy smell and I start to get panicky.  There's a cute old man trying to make conversation about how they don't have the kind of eggs he likes and I'm speed reading the boxes of egg beaters because one is regular and one is southwest and what does that even mean??  Isn't it just eggs in a paper carton.  I give the old man and half smile and book it out of that section before something embarrassing happens.  All the way up to the cash register and out to the car I can feel the eggs sloshing around in that paper carton and am trying to convince myself that throwing up is not an option. I get in the car and as I'm putting the egg beaters in the refrigerator it dawns on me, the husband did not ask me for egg beaters....he asked me for egg whites....and I epic failed on that one.

Monday, September 19, 2011

You Say Tomato, I Say Tooth Fairy

The girl-child has lost her first tooth. 

yes...sometimes I do comb this child's hair, just not today

She's 5.  Isn't that a little bit early?  Is it because I have been adamantly refusing to believe that my babies are growing up and will no longer need me to snuggle them?  I've threatened to quit feeding her.  Didn't work.  I am laying the groundwork so that I can be like that mother in Love You Forever (by Robert Munsch) when I'm an old lady.  Still needs work.

The girl-child has always had a thing for tomatoes (see video):

See that.  She how little and cute she used to be.  Even at the age of 2, Emmers could be found red handed in the garden shoveling tomatoes into her mouth like they were actually something tasty.

Back to the tooth....the girl-child is eating tomatoes out of grandmother's garden.  Why?  Because the dad planted 34 tomato plants in the garden this year.  Not 3 or 4, 34! I know what you're thinking.  Why would anyone do that?  Maybe he has some sort of massive tomato canning, getting ready for the apocalypse plan?  Nope.  Well, except for that metal shipping container out back, but let us not get into that.  The official answer is:
So that, when I want a tomato, there will be one out there, waiting for me, no matter what.

So to recap: Girl eating tomato, girl feels like dirt is in her mouth, girl spits dirt out onto the ground, girl realizes her tooth is missing....oh, crap!  And then the husband saves the day and finds said tooth because he knows that I do not need to write another letter to the tooth fairy explaining that I may or may not of caused my brother's tooth to come out and we can't find it.  I'm not doing that, again.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Stones into Schools

Stones into Schools is the sequel to Greg Mortenson's Three Cups of Tea.  The book is written in a way that you could randomly pick it up and read without having first read Three Cups of Tea.  I think you would lack the appreciation for just how hard Mortenson worked or what a long way he has come on this journey to promote peace by educating people though. 
The timing of this book was completely random but I'm glad that I am reading it now, when the world is remembering the 10th anniversary of September 11th.  The truth is that we are all changed because of that day.  Even if we'd like to think we aren't.  I find myself jumping between thoughts about this book and Charlie Wilson's War and how we got to this place.  It's forgotten sometimes and worth remembering that there are people in Afghanistan that don't support the Taliban and are eager for schools and the possibility of a better life.

Three Cups of Tea detailed the difficulties of making the promise of building a school a reality.  There was a lot of focus on the physical challenges of actually getting building materials to off the map places and getting the school built.  I felt that Stones into Schools focused more on the political challenges of building schools in Afghanistan without the help or support from the country's ruling body.  The chapters detailing the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the Central Asia Institute's move to make earthquake-proof schools were probably my favorite from the book.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A mini vacation

Also on the agenda (besides running) while we were visiting California:

The Ocean - Check
Due to some random and remote natural disaster we couldn't go swimming in the ocean because of the crazy waves and shark sightings.  The kids had a good time splashing around and trying to jump over the waves as they rolled in.  We even found some pretty cool sea shells.

Survive the long car ride - Check
This year I let the kids pack their own car entertainment.  The girlchild's back pack was completely full of easy reader books.  Burrito brought his periscope to....ummm....spy....on things???  Who knows.  We also loaded up the ipod with a ridiculous amount of disney kid songs.  I would have to say that this was the most pleasant trip yet.  Not too much whining, no throwing up (always a bonus), the kids pretty much entertained themselves.
Hang out with Patches - Check
Everyone's favorite Aunt Jani is down to just one tortoise at her house.  It's a highlight of the trip to feed him small children's fingers bananas and sit outside and enjoy life at a tortoise's pace.

Medieval Times - Check
I marched my children right up to the front gates of Disneyland and didn't let them go in.  I'm working on my award for wicked-est mother of the year...I'll let you know how it turns out.  Why?  Because this family only goes to Disneyland on even numbered years.  We can't be breaking with traditions here.  As a conciliation prize we checked out Medieval Times instead.  My kids were sold on it the second I said they were going to have to eat with their hands because there were no forks in the medieval times don't you know.  Burrito was so fascinated with the show that he didn't eat a bite of his $40 dinner.  Which ordinarily would have earned him a night in the stocks but we let him slide this one time on account of his absolute adorability. 

And now...I must get back to trying to find a yellow knight costume for the kid for Halloween.  Maybe this wasn't such a bright idea after all...

What's the matter with these boys

This is the Dad in Hawaii, 2006, in his beach wear.

And Burrito, sunny California, 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

Checkmarks and PRs

Run a half marathon - check
Don't die while running said half marathon - check
Try really hard to not be the last one to cross the finish line - check

Instead of our usual Labor Day weekend plans (which involve the most amazing ribs, little people birthday parties, small town parades and oodles of candy), the boy and I drove down to Anaheim so I could run in the 6th annual Disneyland half marathon.  I attempted to take pictures along the course so that the boy could feel like he got to see all the cool behind-the-scenes at Disney things I got to see.  But I was so impatient to get that third checkmark up there that my feet kept running and most of the pictures were blurry.  (Don't worry Husband...I'll make it up to you in January). 

I did end up getting a decent one of the Sign Shop,
in the back of the park kind of behind the rivers of America.

There were so many people starting the race that the first 4 miles flew past without much heart pounding or heavy breathing, either that or I was too distracted by all the characters and fun toons blaring over the sound system.

While I was training someone told me that at mile 6 people start to hurt.  At mile 8 the bottom drops out for a lot of first timers.  So I made sure I carried beans with me and stopped at all the powerade stations.  Miles 8, 9, and 10 came and went and I was still trotting along.  I started really watching the time at mile 11.  Apparently running and math aren't my strong suit.  For some silly reason I decided that once I hit mile 11 I only had one more mile to go...one more mile to go.  I can totally do this.  And if I hustle I'll beat that 2 hour 30 minute mark so I can start in the corral next time.  Just one more mile to go....

Except....I didn't really have one more mile to go.  I had 2.1 and 20 minutes to go.

Damn you mile 11

If I hadn't have been up since 4 am, I might have had the foresight to take the uneaten sports beans out of my shorts first and not take my "I finished and didn't die" picture in front of the sanihuts...maybe next time.

The official stats are:

13.1 miles in 2:30:37
Overall ranking 5,319 out of 12,785 finishers
2,779 out of 8,368 women
512 out of 1,410 30-34 year olds.

I'll be returning in January to run in the first ever Tinkerbell half marathon. 

New goals:
faster AND take pics with the characters

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The 19th Wife

Faith, I tell them, is a mystery, elusive to many, and never easy to explain.

Last year, I read Escape by Carolyn Jessop.  The account of a woman who fled Zion with her children to escape her life as a polygamist wife.  I was shocked by the down hearted tone of the book and the rampant child abuse.  It was the kind of story that after putting it down, any mother would shake her head and think "that's just not okay".  The Fundamentalist LDS' have been in the news off and on since then, as Warren Jeffs goes through trial.  It's hard to imagine what a life in a polygamist community like that is like. 

The 19th Wife was an easier book to read for me.  Maybe because I knew that parts of it were fiction, or that in general it presented the broader picture of what life was like and how polygamy came to be in the Latter Day Saints.  It is a historical fiction novel by David Ebershoff, detailing the life of Ann Eliza Young from birth into a polygamist family through her very public divorce to Brigham Young.  It also combines a modern day murder mystery centered on a high ranking polygamist family.  The 19th Wife was the kind of book I couldn't put down.  And when I finished the last page I wanted to know more.  I wanted to know which parts were fact and which were the fiction added in.  I found myself spouting off "Did you know...." questions to anyone who would listen to them.  For instance, did you know that Joseph Smith was only 39 when he died?  And that the jail where he was being held was stormed in the night and he and his brother Hyrum were shot to death?  And that is why/how Brigham Young became the leader of the church?

I think this book might make it into my top 5 favorites for this year.


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