Monday, May 30, 2011

First Ever Family Hike

Today, we went on our first ever family hike.

Inspired by the fact that our cousins are always doing fun things, we went to find a waterfall at a nearby state park.

It was a short hike, but it was hot outside. The water was very refreshing.

I made two notes for future family hikes.

1. Hiking at noon on a hot day is not the best idea.

2. If your destination is entirely downhill, your car will be entirely uphill.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Farewell, Preschool

Today was Victor's last day of preschool.

I am a big fan of preschool.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Store Renovation

Our grocery store is being renovated.

I thought it was nice before. The new freezer cases are organized and clean, but also tall and ominous. Their lights only go on when you walk down the aisle, which makes the deserted aisles seem somehow threatening.

Also, I liked the old color above the freezer cases (light periwinkle) better than the new (cream).

There are also some new product sections. Hooray for fancy cheese, but I don't understand the pizza bar. Who wants a piece of reheated pizza?

Finally, aisle 6 has a new product category: New Age Drinks. I'm not sure what those are, but I'm pretty sure they're not for me.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Storm Drain Fun

Yesterday, I replaced the batteries in the boys' remote control vehicles.

After exploring the limits of indoor fun, the boys took the vehicles outside. I figured it would be okay to run them on the front walk, so I instructed them to stay there and not go in the street.

Two minutes later, Victor came in to report that Zeke's truck was down the storm drain.

After consulting our neighbor, Bob, I discovered that the tool I needed to pry off the manhole cover is called a mattock. It's a curved blade, pointed on one end and flat on the other, at the end of an axe handle.

Lucky for me, my friend Michelle owns a mattock (with which she removes manhole covers on her cul-de-sac) and was happy to lend it to me.

So I pried up the manhole cover (Bob was impressed) and sent Victor down the rungs to retrieve Zeke's truck. 
He was very brave, and didn't mind the spiders at all. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Jam Fun

Today, we went strawberry picking.

Because it's fun. And because we ran out of last year's freezer jam about two months ago.

An old timer named Theo showed us that the sweetest berries are those whose bottoms are gathered and just a little bit white. He also picked at least 1/4 of our berries, and the best ones, at that.

This afternoon, I made jam. Lots of jam.

I prefer the Ball instant pectin because (1) there is no cooking involved, just stirring; and (2) there is significantly less sugar but the same delicious taste.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Singing in Church

On Sunday, the Primary sang "Mother I Love You" in Sacrament Meeting.

When they announced it, Victor balked.

Zeke was thrilled. He marched up, took a spot at the front, and beamed.

Victor stood on the stairs to the side, only his eyes and forehead visible over the half-wall at the front of the stand.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Two Religious Moments with Zeke

Tonight, Zeke's personal prayers started with thanks for one of his Saturday Adventures with Dad: "Dear Heavenly Father, I thank thee for the dead possums . . . "


Then, we read the story of Lazarus in Luke 11.

Zeke: what does "weep" mean?

Me: It means to cry.

Zeke: To cry.

We came to verse 32. 

Me: "Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet . . . "

Zeke, alarmed: Did it hurt?

Me, confused for a moment: What? Oh. No. It did not hurt. It doesn't mean she tripped and fell down. She got down on her knees because he was Jesus. . .

Zeke: But it did not hurt?

Me: No.

Zeke: She did not hurt?

Me: No.

Things I Don't Care About

I am interested in many things.

But there are some things I do not care about.

1. Horse racing

2. Professional football, baseball, hockey, or boxing

3. Cars (but I enjoy Top Gear)

4. "Educational" video games

5. Most programming for very small children

6. Whether my boys play on a school sports team

7. Using hand sanitizer

8. "Green" living for the sake of "green" living (as opposed to green living for the sake of deliciousness or on the principle of not being wasteful)

9. Car seats for children Victor's size and larger (although he does, per state law, sit on a booster seat)

10. 99% of chick flicks

Friday, May 6, 2011

First Debate

Last night was the "first" debate of potential 2012 GOP presidential nominees. I was glad to have a smaller group of participants, most of them less-known.

I will share some impressions.

1. Rick Santorum: thumbs down. He was arrogant. He clearly thinks he is better than other people because of his positions on families, abortion, etc.

It's fine for a candidate to think his positions are better than those of another candidate. That's the whole point. But his sneering and preening was unattractive.

He was clearly trying to downplay his beliefs about working mothers. Since he clearly believes the world would be better off if more women stayed home, it was disingenuous of him to say otherwise.

Finally, his closing remarks were idiotic. He said people should vote for him because he has beaten Democratic incumbents in the past. It was not inspiring.

2. I enjoyed the cogent way in which Gov Gary Johnson (NM) explained his positions.

3. I don't think libertarianism would work on a large scale unless the society it governed had a fairly strict moral code.

4. Herman Cain's tone was more formal than the last interview I saw with him. I like polish. Points to Cain.

5. I am interested in hearing more from Gov Tim Pawlenty.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mother's Morning

This morning was the Mother's Tea at Victor's preschool.

I didn't have any tea, but I did have a lovely time in Victor's classroom. We painted, played with clay, did a rhyming game, and looked at his star chart.

Zeke also had a fun morning. We stayed a little later than the other moms to work on an alphabet game.

Our morning ended when Zeke pulled the fire alarm, causing a general evacuation of the building.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Zeke has always been attuned to colors.  From less than two years of age, he knew all the colors, including tan and pink.

(This is very different from Victor, who didn't know or care about colors until forced to learn them in preschool.)

One of Zeke's jobs is to put any wet clothes into a designated container in the laundry room. It's the bin we got at the hospital when Victor was born. I am sure you can picture it in your mind's eye: mauve plastic, very ugly.

But when I described it to him last week, I called it "pink."

"It's not pink, it's purple," he told me.

This has happened more than once. I think this week I'll see what he thinks about periwinkle.