Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy Birthday, Baby Drake





Colin Drake was
born one year ago on Dec 30th, 2009, around 3:45pm at Clovis Community hospital.
He is a perfectly healthy, happy baby boy.
From early on (see pictures) he would smile with his whole, big ol' mouth. He has
a dimple. He was born with a spot of dark hair on his blond head, but that seems to be growing out. But people mostly remark on his eyes. Huge, sparkling, light blue eyes with long, long eyelashes.

He gets REALLY excited when ever music comes on. In church, when the organ starts, he waves his arm like he is leading mucic and raised his eyebrows with a "whoa! listen to that" look on his face. When he first learned to sit up, he would bounce both legs at the same time (quite a feat) to the beat of what ever music was on. He LOVES to dance with his mom. He eats everything and takes long naps. He wakes up a lot in the night, but goes right back to sleep.

At one year, he has taken his first steps, but isn't confident yet. He can stand up from the ground (without help), loves water, loves his brothers and sisters, he can clap, use a bit of sign language. He is very expressive- jokes, teasing, mad faces, laughing games, noises, etc.) He is supe
r happy all the time, and it is rare for him to be cranky. Just lately he gets put out if he can't have something. His favorite things to do are dancing, running with someone holding his hands, taking a bath, and going outside. He spends his days puttering around,
following Jack, moving, watching the dog, exploring, and eating, eating, eating.
We love out last little man and are so glad he
is in our family. He brings us joy.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

That's Astute, I Say

Theo often goes to Beth's house when I have to work, and he loves it there. He disappears into the herd of cousins and bounces off of Jackson and gets bathed regularly. I think there's a sense of freedom that comes from being supervised by the pack instead of having one mom looking just at you all day long. After we come back from a visit he will ask me every day if we can go to "Beth's house".

Today he was campaigning to go there as usual and I asked him what he liked about it. After listing off all of the people he likes, he said:

"Beth's house- too many kids, not too many mommies, right?"

Monday, December 27, 2010

We Wish You A Merry Hot Dog

Christmas was perfect this year. Seriously, I can't remember ever having a better one. Not only did I get to go to California, see Claire marry Gordon, hang out with all of my sisters and cry like a baby while Gail sang 'O Holy Night', I also got to come back to Atlanta and have a letter-perfect Christmas day with our little family.

Because Chris had been gone for 3 weeks, having us all back together had an extra shine to it. Then, the kids are at perfect ages for Christmas magic. Lucy had fallen off of the Santa bandwagon, but when it came down to crunch time she jumped right back on: "Mom, I know what you told me about Santa, but you and Dad can't be doing ALL the presents. Plus, SOMEBODY eats the cookies!" Good point, Lucy, good point.

We went caroling. I made toffee and ate it till my mouth hurt. We took some gifts to a family and doorbell ditched them on Christmas Eve, running giggling and happy to our getaway car. Theo ran around telling everyone "We wish you a Merry Hot Dog" and then falling down laughing. We had a big present to set up, and Chris and I stayed up late putting it together. In the morning the kids were appropriately amazed and we drug out present opening for an hour and a half. I got a big fat Christmas nap on new fluffy pillows from Claire. We played with toys, worked on a puzzle, ate cheese and chocolate...and then it started to snow. After 2 years of Puerto Rico "Christmas"...well, it was magical, let me tell you. So, hot chocolate, the world's tiniest snow man, another secret Santa errand and bed. One of my favorite days ever.
Chris looking dapper in Christmas scarf and snow.

Lucy's recipe for 'Snow Julius'- snow, orange juice and whipped cream

Theo looking adorable in new panda head gear.

The world's tiniest snowman.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

An Amazing Year in Review.

Wow. Wow. What a year. Put it all down for posterity and old age memory assistance. Feel free to add detail and edit. Doesn't need to be in order. Big or small, just important.

Sisters / Husbands:
Colin was born this year -2 days
Vivian / Jerry got a job at Los Alamos National Labs and moved to New Mexico
Claire, Sarah, Carrie and Rachel visited the Thomas family in New Mexico (at different times)
Rachel and Claire went to South Dakota
Carrie / Chris took a job with the CDC and moved to Atlanta, GA
Rachel (does she need her own category?) graduated with honors, won major awards
Mom retired from ? years of teaching
Mom, Sarah, Carrie (x2), Rachel, and Dad bought new cars
Rachel took a job with the CDC and moved to Auburn
Rachel went to a CDC training in Atlanta and got to hang out with the Gregory's
Claire and Gordon got engaged
Vivian / Jerry took a job with ? and moved to New Hampshire
Rachel went to visit the Thomas family in New Hampsire and took a road trip to Quebec
Tim / Beth quit rigging business and started Lawrence Tire and Service
Vivian and Jerry are expecting their 2nd baby - yay!
Claire / Gordon were married- yay!
Chris went to the Congo, Philippines,


Others in our "Family"
Adam Smith died
Joel and Regina got married
Darcy turned 12, began YW, middle school

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Couple of Beth Quotes Worth Saving

"Keeping 5 kids simultaneously fed, clean, polite, healthy, engaged and safe is a Herculean effort. Especially while they are trying really hard to be hungry, dirty, rude, sick, bored and dead."

"Failure to schedule will result in a life decided by whim and chaos." - fortune cookie

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Case of the Missing Santa Claus


First of all, Santa is real. But, not the one who came to our church party and not the one who came to last year's church party, either. And here is why:

1. Last year I saw the guy pretending to be Santa was wearing flip-flops under his fake boots.

2. This year, I saw a regular guy with white eyebrows. Later when I saw Santa he had the same eyebrows.

3. I saw the regular guy hide a coat. A RED coat.

4. They had the same glasses.

PS- I never saw those two at the same time.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

she is but she isn't.

on the one hand:
darcy is tall. she is beautiful. she is 12. she goes on YW trips and firesides. she wears heels and doesn't look awkward. she took money to school, bought a ticket during break to a school play, asked if i would drive her, took sydney with her, bought syd a ticket, found a place to sit, called me on my cell phone to come pick them up when it was over. and after 5 months of class, you should see her cruise around on a computer. it is all very grown up.

on the other hand:
i still fix her hair, and i still get comments like this - "but mom, i NEED a weapon!" - darcy on why she should be allowed to take a sling shot to the temple.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

I'm so lucky.



Gordon and I made a tough decision to move into a very small apartment. There is not a lot of room for excess furniture that would supply horizontal surfaces. But I have a lot of pottery, and there was some mystery about what we were going to do with it all.
Turns out there's a little jog in the wall in one corner of our living room, due to the remodel our landlord did years back.
Wouldn't it be great if we had a shelf that would utilize that space? On which to place all my pottery?
Oh, what's that, Gordon? You'll build me one??



Isn't it beautiful?

(Note: Not its final resting spot)

Say What?

Over the last year, Theo sometimes has gone to stay at Beth's house when I've been working. When I'd pick him up, Beth and I would have a conversation like this:

Me: how'd it go?
Beth: great! he's so cute, he's perfect, he's so funny, I love him, why can't he talk?
Me: what do you mean he can't talk?
Beth: I mean, he can't talk in a good way! It's so cute how I can't ever understand him!

I pretty much figured that anybody not yelling at Beth's house automatically went into her "doesn't talk" category, and didn't think too much about it. I mean, he talks. He obviously says more now than he did a year ago, right? Just cause he doesn't say the sounds for T,R,C,K,TH,SH,P,F,G,L...ok, the only consonants he uses are B, D and sometimes S, but there are a lot of words with those sounds that he says just fine...

Finally last month I realized that Beth was right. He IS too hard to understand for being almost 3, and I scheduled a hearing test for today. Which didn't go so well.

We started out in a little room with a two way mirror (one way window?)and they taught him a game where they rang a buzzer and he dropped a toy into a bucket and if he did it he got a prize, but only if he waited until he heard the noise. He was really cute, listening and holding the toy poised over the bucket. They started the beeps really quiet and kept making them louder until he heard one and dropped the toy.
After that they did something similar with headphones that didn't go over his ears but to bony spots on his head. If he hears better from vibrations through bone than he does through his ears, then there's nothing wrong with him neurologically, it just means the sound isn't getting through his ears right.

And that's what happened. If the little bones in his ear pick up vibrations through his skull, they pass on the sound just fine. If you try to send vibrations through his eardrums, it doesn't work so well. What that means is that he has fluid behind his eardrums that is keeping them from vibrating, and that he'll likely need tubes in his ears to drain the fluid. Then I'm going to drop him off at Beth's house and let him talk her ear off.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

What Would Robert Pattinson Do?

Alright, I have to admit that even in the best of times, Theo's hair is...questionable. One might even say it was a hairstyle decided by whim and chaos. Here's a picture from the other day, a fair image of a regular Theo hair day:

But sometimes it really suited him and he would look downright handsome:

But no matter what you think of my hairstyling skills, it had to be better than THIS:


Yep. Lucy finally took matters into her own hands.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Gordon

1. I cross my sevens.

2. It’s interesting how these things work. I’ve always kind of disliked the whole idea of these chain notes – I tag you and you tag 25 people and soon the whole world is it. But I can see how they get going, because I kind of feel obligated to do this, having been tagged myself. It almost seems like I’d maybe be letting down the tagger if I were to just ignore this, and I’m nothing if not careful to try not to let down taggers. My grandfather wrote a sort of life history a few years back, and in it he talks about his father (whom I never met). When he bought produce, he always made sure to pick out fruits and or vegetables of various qualities. For example, if he were buying apples, he’d get some nice looking ones and some average ones and also some that were in bad condition, which were possibly beyond edible. He explained to my grandpa that it wasn’t fair to leave the grocer with fruit he couldn’t sell. I like his attitude. If my family were to go to a ward potluck dinner, and there were some food item that wasn’t getting eaten very quickly, we would make sure to take some, and to point out to each other that we should all try Sister Anderson’s five-bean salad. This way, Sister Anderson would feel better about her efforts, and really, who cares if we like five-bean salad or not. This is essentially the reason for me writing this note. It’s also why I’ll only tag Tim back, so that he’ll see that I followed through. It’s also why I’ll do my best to keep this a little livelier than it might otherwise be.

3. I’m a Wikipedia prodigy. I can get from any article to any other article by following six or fewer links. I have yet to fail at this.

4. Several months back, I met privately with Barack Obama who asked if I would consider accepting the Vice Presidential nomination. I chose to decline, citing personal reasons.

5. I’ve never killed a man I didn’t like.

6. This bus smells
like a Nevada Hotel room.

7. In 1974, I was voted biggest flirt at my high school. The next year, I was voted Prom King.

8. Apparently, they called Huey Long the Kingfish for nothing.

9. Have you ever seen an anime show where the main character’s in a fix and is about to die or has to save someone’s life or something, and he’s like – I’m going to do THIS!!! and everyone else like, NO WAY!!! That’s IMPOSSIBLE!!! And he’s like, I’m doin’ it anyway and HE DOES!!!? That’s pretty much my life in a nutshell.

10. If I’ve ever discussed politics with you and you thought I was joking about my ideas, you were wrong.

11. I’ve been an illegal immigrant./ There are 17 varieties of chocolate in my desk drawer.

12. Rocket ships
don’t fascinate
me the way that
a falling leaf or
a cracked sheet of ice
does.

14. I can tell if a racehorse won’t win the triple crown by just hearing its name. Funny Cide? Smarty Jones? Sir Barton? Big Brown? Give me a break.

16. If you repeat the last couple of words of a sentence in French, it makes you sound very smart. Très intelligent.

17. You can pronounce any word in French by just remembering that all the consonants are silent./ Je suis monsieur tous le monde.

18. I’m not half as eruditic as I pretend to be.

18. While riding in a car on the way to Alabama from Maryland, but in Virginia or possibly North Carolina, with my brother and a girl he knows who also sings, we sang a couple songs. After the first song, Nathan said, "You don't have to hold back," or something like that. After the second song, Leland, whom I'd just met, looked back at me and said, "Damn!"

19. Last week a girl came to class
with a tape recorder to record the
lecture for her friend who was sick.
I wondered if anyone would come
to record the lecture if I were sick.
I wonder if I would go record a
lecture for anyone who was sick.

20. I’m an excellent tipper. If you ever wait my table or cut my hair, you won’t regret it.

21. I’m proud to have fought alongside Bierce and Rochefoucauld in 'Nam.

21. I have memorized the following poems: “The Second Coming” and “The Song of Wandering Angus” by William Butler Yeats; “The Emperor of Ice Cream” by Wallace Stevens; “To a Poor Old Woman,” “This is Just to Say,” “The Act,” and “The Red Wheelbarrow” by William Carlos Williams; “Tearing the Page” and “First World” by Li-Young Lee; “A Song” by Joseph Brodsky; “Advice to a Prophet” by Richard Wilbur; “A Dream Deferred” by Langston Hughes; “First Fig” and “Second Fig” by Edna St. Vincent Millay; “The List of Famous Hats” by James Tate; “The Boston Evening Transcript,” “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” and the first section of “Little Gidding” by T.S. Eliot; and “In a Station of the Metro” by Ezra Pound. And some others, I think.

22. I’m a virgin.

23. One time, William and I got locked in the lobby of the Hobby Lobby in Santa Fe.

24. I’m a little relieved that Tom Daschle withdrew from consideration for his cabinet post. I once followed the recipe for “Tom Daschle’s Famous Cheesecake” and had to evacuate the house because of the smoke from the inordinate amount of butter in the crust that dripped to the bottom of the oven and burned. Since that day, I’ve always been a bit dubious of Mr. Daschle.

25. I always cross myself when I say, “May he rest in peace.” As in, “They called Huey Long the Kingfish for nothing, may he rest in peace.” But what you don’t see is that I’m crossing myself.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Chris

1. At various points in my life I've tried to learn 7 different languages. I'm not sure I've really got the hang of any of them. This includes English.

2. I'm reasonably certain that my three years in the boy scouts had no measurable benefit on my levels of reverence, thriftiness and cleanliness. It might just have made a bad situation worse.

3. In 1986, I was in the national spelling bee. I lost on "surrogate". I still think Americans say it funny.

4. I have a shameful, secret passion for outlet malls. Especially ones with Brooks Brothers stores. They make a damn fine dress shirt.

5. My 5 favorite things about America, in no particular order, include: the New Yorker, the breakfasts, NPR, dive Mexican food and the women.

6. Number of cousins who have joined the French Foreign Legion: 2.

7. Number of cousins who have joined the French Foreign Legion, deserted, sought refuge in the New Zealand embassy in Paris, been surreptitiously flown out of the country and are never allowed to reenter France and its territories all while their parents thought they were wind surfing in Indonesia: 2.

8.I was opposed to the Iraq War from the get go. To be fair, I was also against the First Iraq War and almost every other war dating back to and including the American Revolution.

9. I'm opposed to wear clothes (especially shirts) with logos or brandnames on them. I get most of my t-shirts off the internet because they say things that amuse me or have messages that I support. Why would I pay money to essentially advertise for a big money-grubbing corporation. Well, unless it was a big money-grubbing corporation that made really cool outdoor gear like REI or North Face.....

10. My 2 greatest fears are clowns and belly dancers. Dick Cheney is a distant third.

11. I might or might not have contracted Japanese Encephalitis in Cambodia.

12. My physical diagnosis teacher in Medical School was my dad. My final exam in that class had "Could do better" written in big red letters on the top.

13. My physical diagnosis skills are so superb that I was able to diagnose a gunshot wound to the head using nothing but a CT scan. I was also able to find the blood-engorged tick causing my patient's paralysis using a good old-fashioned MRI machine.

14. I used to kind of like Sean Cavanaugh. Then I saw his amazing pictures of him on the Otter Trail in South Africa. Now I hate him.

15. My son was in the 50% percentile weight-for-age when we moved to Puerto Rico. Now he's on the 10% percentile. I think it's all evaporative losses.

16. My three favorite places in the world are Siem Reap, Cambodia, Cape Town, South Africa and the canyons of southern Utah.

17. I spent most of my waking hours the last nine years thinking about how to help sick kids feel better. I'm glad I don't do that anymore. What a crap job.

18. I'm slowly turning into my dad, well a more cynical bitter version of my dad. I'm pretty ok with that.

19. I spend a good part of the last three months trying to make my son's first word be "Obama". It was dada. What an ungrateful little jerk.

20. There's almost nothing I would rather be doing than messing about in running water. Rivers, oceans it's all good.

21. I estimate I've made somewhere over 100 parents cry. A lot of them because I told them their child was going to die, but a surprisingly large number just by telling them I was their doctor.

22. I've only personally met 5 people that I'm certain are funnier than me. If you're holding out hope, only one of them has a facebook address that I know. One of the others is my five year old daughter.

23.I was left-handed until the South African educational system got a hold of me. Apparently they didn't approve of such things.

24. Now that we have 2 kids, I'm seriously considering becoming a stay-at-work dad.

25. I went swimming in the ocean today. I went yesterday too. I might go tomorrow.

Carrie

1. When I was 8 years old I watched while my sister Vivian was born. I don't remember being especially interested or grossed out; I mostly just thought "OK then."

2. I graduated from high school when I was 16 because in first grade I complained to my Mom that I was bored. I think because I was the first child she was all geared up to be invested in my education, and so I was moved up to second grade early.

3. The best job I ever had was working as a wildlife biologist counting turtles for the US Forest Service.

4. I have a fondness, but not a passion, for University of Utah sports. I do have a passion for March Madness.

5. I lived in Australia for two years when I was a child. My parents moved there in the 70's, way before anyone knew you could just move to a different country, and back when you had to write letters to keep in touch with home.

6. I was once flagged down by a group of Buddhist monks in Laos to help them complete a crossword puzzle in English about HIV awareness. The clue was 'all transfused blood should be______', and the answer was 'screened'.

7. My first words when i saw Theo on the ultrasound were "Oh NO!" I absolutely did NOT want a boy for our second child. I didn't like the way boys make loud noises and hit stuff with sticks. Plus, every girl deserves a sister. Now that Theo is here, I'm a complete blithering adoring mess about him. I think he if was yelling and hitting me with a stick I would probably just ask him if he wanted anything to eat while he was doing it.

8. Where I grew up, one of the biggest ways to entertain ourselves was to go jump off of high things, usually into water. I can and have jumped from some very high places, but I don't enjoy it very much.

9. My sisters occasionally call me 'Zippo', because they think I walk really fast and never eat anything. This isn't actually true- it's just that they walk really slowly and eat constantly.

10. I'd like to think that just because I'm a quiet person that I'm also a rugged individualist- that I could be content by myself for long periods of time, meditating and writing novels and such. Unfortunately it's not true. I'm actually a socially-needy introvert, which is a terrible combination.

11. When I moved to Utah from California for medical school I did not own a coat and had never seen a windshield ice scraper.

12. I generally hate this sort of 'pass-it-forward' letter writing pyramid scheme. I once reported my own Grandmother as spam for this exact sort of thing. She's not on Facebook- don't tell her.

13. I once unknowingly transported a large (gallon size) bag of marijuana through an airport and across state lines. It was in the pocket of a hand-me-down coat that I had just been given. When i discovered it (in the middle of the grocery store), I stood there and stared at it for a long time trying to figure out what it was. "I swear officer, I never saw that before in my life! You see, this isn't really my coat...."

14. The first time I ever told Chris that I loved him, he gazed into my eyes and whispered back...."Ditto." C'mon! "Ditto"?!!

15. When I was 6 I was Tiny Tim for our Community Theatre.

16. I have moved seven times in our 10 years of marriage.

17. I once had a massage at the "Seeing Hands: Blind Massage" shop in Siem Reap, Cambodia. I had to walk past the door 4 times before I got brave enough to go inside. When they led me to a room for me to change, there was a blind man sitting in the corner of the dark room. Question: If you change clothes in front of a blind stranger, is that odd? Answer: Yes.

18. Our family once held a spelling bee to settle some ugly smack talk amongst the Ashby sisters. I did not win.

19. If I had an entire day to myself, I would probably read. And sleep. Sleep, and read some more.

20. Speaking of sleep, I am good at sleeping. I once fell asleep on command, on a table, with electrodes all over my head, in a class in front of 15 other medical students. The teacher was trying to demonstrate different brain wave patterns between sleeping and waking, and the subject was having a hard time falling asleep with all of the attention. From the crowd I announced "I can do it." And I did.

21. Chris and I are reading 'Harry Potter' in Spanish. We're on book #3.

22. I beat Chris at chess once, 5 years ago, and I have refused to play him since.

23. I have a little thing for Anderson Cooper. Not a big thing, but something about the way he looks all put together, but you know there's more underneath. I also have a thing for Bob Costas, but people make fun of me about that one.

24. One day during a lab experiment in college it was time to put the mice back in the box for the next class. I looked at my little mouse, and I meant to put him back, i did, but instead I put him in my sweatshirt pocket and walked out. I took him home to be a pet for my little sister Rachel. A few years later, when he died, I started to dissect him, to show Rachel all of the interesting things I knew about the inside of a mouse. Then I realized I was about to cut up a beloved pet in front of a 5 yr old, and we didn't do that after all.

25. Some of the other doctors from my residency call me 'Sparkle', because one day I accidentally wore glitter lip gloss to work at the ER. I also had braces at the time, so the overall effect was to make me look about 12. It was very reassuring for my patients.

I just need a pen.

Checking my email, I realize I need to write something down on the calendar. When I go to the bedroom to get a pen off of my dresser, I remember that Theo had an accident on the bed. As I'm taking the dirty sheets to the laundry, I see the bleach and remember that I've been meaning to bleach the inside of my kitchen garbage can. When I pull out the can, I realize I'm going to have to dump out the garbage before I can clean it. As I'm walking out to the street to bring in the big garbage can, I see Lucy's shoes on the front lawn. When I take Lucy's shoes to the closet, I see the pants that I was going to wear to Relief Society and I remember that I need to give my ride a call. As I go to the computer to get her phone number, I remember that I need to write something on the calendar, and for that, I'm going to need a pen...

And since the pen is now lost, I guess I'll just write a blog instead.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Beth

1. I was born in Australia. obnoxiously, when I was a kid it was the first thing I would tell about myself. I clung to it as something original. so I figured it should be number one.

2. i had two opportunities in life to mess my face up. once i scraped it off when i was 8 on the asphalt off a bike, and had to have my 7 busted teeth wired shut. the other was mashing it on a diving board when i was 19, breaking my nose and 3 teeth. mom says it is a miracle i look regular. thanks, mom.

3. i love to eat. i love food. to the point where in health class, when I first heard about bulimia, my first unchecked thought was, “brilliant!!”.

4. i love to read, but can’t let myself at this stage in my life. If I get into a good book, I find myself saying things like, “go and make your own dinner!” to my 1 year old.

5. i exaggerate everything, to make it better, but I am a terrible liar. explain that.

6. i thought I was a fantastic dancer, because I love it so much, until I saw myself on video.

7. I have had just about every low-paying job there is. The list is actually impressive, if I do say so. A few highlights – bartender (I was 17), horse trainer, painter, gas-pump-scrubber, smoothie maker, kids day camp babysitter, health club towel-hander-outer, trampoline/diving coach.

8. what is the opposite of a fear of heights? i love to jump off of high things. anything. airplanes, diving boards, roofs, cliffs, you name it. but I didn’t realize how twisted it was till I climbed half dome. i had to talk myself away from the edge. for a second, I really, REALLY wanted to jump off it.

9. I love berries and I am an optimist.

10. when I was little, my dad took me to work out with him in a stinky, headband-wearing, 80’s man-gym (do you have the picture?). I loved it! i read in a journal I had when I was 10, that I wanted to be a personal trainer when I grew up. I am incredibly proud that I did it.

11. I am terrible at searching the internet. I have no explanation for it. I once typed in “football” and got no results. maybe it is because I can’t spell.

12. each of my 4 (make that 5) children are a little slice of a different part of me. I am glad to discover, in a self-analytical way, that I like them all.

13. it took me 9 years to graduate from college, but it is one of my greatest triumphs. summa, not just regular old cum laude (claire!).

14. I am not afraid of much, but I am afraid of bad guys at night.

15. I hate hidden camera or “piss them off and then tell them they are on tv” shows. They make my skin crawl.

16. I hate cake. It is a waste of calories and doesn’t deserve the level it has on the dessert hierarchy. I can list off 20 treats WAY better than cake, but it keeps showing up at the most important events (birthdays, weddings). this is, of course, with the glorious exception of claire’s carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. that is different.

17. I love motherhood WAY more than I ever thought I would. I didn’t even want to be a girl until I was about 15.

18. i remember, vividly, walking into an apartment and seeing tim for the first time. i didn't even know his name, but i remember when he stood up, looked me full in the face and smiled, shaking my hand, that if he asked me to marry him, i would say yes.

19. I hate grown-up things like insurance, taxes, car maintenance, and bills. blech.

20. I like to be a hero. To feed people, listen to sad people, give somebody something they need. you know… save the day. I like to save the day.

21. this one is hard to explain. I change my personality to match whomever I am talking with. old people, hippies, pta, hockey players, republicans, you name it. it is a skill, and comes in handy, but I am not sure if I am proud of it or not. which one is me?

22. I LOVE general conference. I like getting my religion straight from the top.

23. I am not good at keeping up with friends. I see or hear from an old friend and think, “man, I really like them a lot!”, and then I don’t see/call/write them for 10 more years. but sisters are different. when I am with my sisters, it feels like a clean, deep sigh.

24. with the exception of volleyball, I like individual sports. If i do badly, it’s all me, but if I do well, I get all the glory.

25. one of the best moments I ever had was in a high, sunny, fragrant mountain meadow where tim was fly fishing upstream, my new baby was asleep in my arms, my three kids had stripped down and were swimming in their underwear, squealing with joy, and would come to the edge long enough for me to squirt “easy-cheese” and a cracker into their mouths. Tim was 100yards away, but we smiled at each other in that way that says, “i-love-you-I-am-totally-happy-right-now-and-this-is-awesome”.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

the only true church?

so i was throwing away stuff from church, and syd was looking at the stuff as i tossed it. one paper said something about belonging to the true church.
s- "mom, this says we go to the only true church."
me- "yes, it does. do you have a question about that?"
s- "well, it says THE ONLY true church. we don't go to THE ONLY true church. that's silly. there are LOTS of true churches."
me - (starting to get nervous that we are going to have a really big conversation here) "like what other churches, sydney? what other churches have what we have?
syd - (pointing to her fingers, like she is teaching a child) "there's one at grandma mona's, there's one by the temple, there is one up in davis..."

aaahhhh.

A conversation with a two yr. old

Me: Tarrin what do you want for lunch? How about a potato?( now the reason I asked is because she usually has the same thing for lunch- lunch meat, chips and cheese so I thought she might want something different.)
Tarrin: No, I want Macaroni and cheese.
me: ok, sounds good. (I put some water on to heat up)
T: I don't like mac 'n' cheese I want a sandwhich with no meat. ( she has never eaten a sandwhich here she doesn't like the bread)
me: why don't you just have mac 'n' cheese since that's what I have started here?
T: no! I don't like it. (I turn off the water I haven't put in the noodles yet so no harm done)
me: do you want a corndog ?
T: no, cookies I want cookies.
me: well you can't have cookies until you have something good for lunch so do you want some lunch meat? (she likes lunch meat)
T: I don't like lunch meat.
me: well do you want a potato?( thought I would try that suggestion again)
T: no, I want mac 'n' cheese.
me: ok. (as I turn back on the water and dump in the noodles. She ate a whole bowl.)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sarah

1. I can't open my eyes wide
2. I broke my arm trying to stop the microphone/podium from going up and down. It won.
3. I'm afraid of heights. When you're in a tree and the branches start moving in the wind it gives me the creeps.
4. speaking for creeps I don't like pulling the drain in dirty dish water.
5. I love power tools
6. I like to quote movies. I've seen a lot and I seem to have the ability to remember them even if I've only seen them once.
7. I've always been able to understand kids. I had a whole conversation with one of the kids at my preschool when we were done there were several members of my family sitting at the table and they said "what did he just say?" me "oh, he said I need to buy more juice at the store" they said that's not what we heard.
8.One of my favorite things when I was a kid was going on the job site with dad even though I did the dirty work.
9. I've never been kissed
10.I love those fruit pies you know the ones with the sugar on top and theyre not good for you at all? yah those. yum
11. when i was younger i stepped in a bobcat trap.
12. I have trouble sleeping. I haven't gotten more than 6 hours of sleep, without help, in a long time
13. I love getting a call in the morning for my b-day.
14. I've lived in Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. I liked Colorado the best.
15. I've writen in a journal everyday (I may have missed once or twice) since I was 16.
16.I want to go to Prince Edward Island, Greece, New York in the fall before I die.
17. If I could ware pj bottoms all the time I would.
18. fresh home made bread is one of my favorite things
19. I came in last 2 or 3 (I've tryed to block it from my brain) times in march madness. In my defense I was going for the underdogs. i picked buckenell to win and they did
20. I too have a crush on Anderson Cooper, but I dosen't stop there other tv people I have a crush on: Wentworth Miller, Simon Baker, and the guys on supernatural( i don't watch the show but theyre hot).
21. I would like to decorate a store window. i sort of got the chance when i worked for eddie bauwer but I couldn't do my own thing i had to follow what corpret wanted.
22. I like country music. There I said it.
23. It makes me happy when the netflix comes in the mail.
24.spring time in auberry is my favorite time
25. i like maps i like to knowing where i'm going or see where i could go.

Claire

1. During 4 months in the summer of 1987, our family lived outside on the property where we were building our house. We had our choice of sleeping in a tent, on the trampoline, in a treehouse, or in a hammock. It was the best 4 months of my life.

2. In fourth grade I needed glasses. I didn't want to tell anyone I needed glasses, though. So I brought the cheap binoculars that were the toy in the Cocoa Crispies cereal box to school to see the chalkboard from the back of the classroom. No one caught me the entire school year.

3. I once had a dream that I changed my name to Shaegan George, after the uppity desk clerk wouldn't let me change it to Clara Weiss because it was too German.

4. When I was 11 my sister Sarah stole my chapstick. She claimed it was hers. We held court. Beth was Sarah's lawyer. Carrie was my lawyer. Dad was the judge.

5. I have a very vivid memory of riding with my mom in our old VW Beetle, around the age of 4-5, standing up in the front seat, dancing (seatbelts were optional then), while singing Tina Turner's "What's Love Got to Do With It" at the top of my lungs.

6. My mother told me when I was young that it was illegal for old ladies to have long hair. For many years I believed this, and looked with a certain degree of respect on the few gray haired women I saw flouting the law.

7. In college I went on a hike (Bishop's Peak for you SLO folk). Partway up the mountain, I decided to leave the trail and head straight up to the top (just to the left of the P-wall). It was one of the stupidest decisions I have ever made in my life. I could have EASILY died about six times. One of those times the only thing standing between me and death was a small plant of poison oak I was gripping with all my strength. The hike usually takes about an hour. That day it took me about five.

8. I used to have an allergic reaction to poison oak as a child. I no longer do.

9. I absolutely hate the fact that, as a human, I have to pee.

10.During high school I worked at a laundromat/dry cleaner's. One Saturday I was really bored, and decided to light a kleenex on fire on the space heater coils. Apparently, burning kleenex smells really, really bad. My boss showed up 15 minutes later. He never said anything. I've always wondered if he didn't notice the smell, or if he thought he was better off not knowing.

11. I prefer Miracle Whip to mayonnaise.

12. I knocked out my front tooth when I was about two years old when I fell down a ladder.

13. During my junior year of high school, I burned my eyebrows off during a Raku firing accident.

14. I took an auto class in high school. My math skills made me the "alignment" go-to girl. Fractions, angles, and all that. At least, that's what I tell myself. Probably all the other guys hated alignments.

15. When I was nine, I thought 'Gremlins' was an hilarious movie. I forced the rest of my family to sit through it, and couldn't understand why no one else was laughing.

16. In college I had a pet beta fish that once survived without food for 3 weeks when I went home for Winter break. Then he later survived going down my garbage disposal. He was tough.

17. I spent about 45 minutes in the back of a police truck driving around downtown Guatemala City in March 2008.

18. Our family once held a spelling bee to settle some ugly smack talk amongst the Ashby sisters. I did win.

19. One sister calls me the Oracle. One sister calls me Hot Lips. One sister calls me the Fixer.

20. I love orange juice.

21. I am a huge fan of Tom Waits. He rarely, and I mean rarely, tours. I passed up a chance to buy Tom Waits concert tickets last year, because he wasn't coming to my state. That decision easily passes up the hiking decision in the 'stupid' category.

22. I hate shopping for clothes, shoes, jewelry, and home furnishings. I love shopping for electronics, music, groceries, and almost all drug store items (shampoo, toothpaste, lotion, garbage bags, laundry detergent, etc).

23. I like trees. A lot.

24. When I was 8 I owned a pair of finches named Jack and Lili. I kept them in a cage outside. In the morning I would open the cage, and they would fly out. In the evening they would fly back in, and I would shut them in for the night. Finally, after a couple months, they didn't come back.

25. I can't whistle.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Vivian

1 I like not having more things than I need. I like to get rid of excess. If something is sentimental, yet useless, I will take a picture of it, then throw it away.

2 I also enjoy finding what things I do need in what I like to call the Magic Dumpster. Here's how it works, you make a wish on the magic dumpster and then in a few days it appears (its BY the dumpster, not IN it people). examples of dumpster finds: entertainment center, chair, bed, bookshelf, the list goes on and on.

3 I believe that safety is not "first" as many suggest, but is in fact second.

4 On a highly related note: I once was checking out at the grocery store with my then roommate Amanda and said to the clerk, "Just because we're buying rubbing alcohol and matches, doesn't mean we're up to something". We were. We were about to attempt to clean our toilet of all germs by lighting it on fire.

5 One thing you might not know is that I have an anxiety about being late. Symptoms include increased heart rate and marked irritability.

6 One odd thing in my life is that strangers ask me for directions at what I would say is an above normal rate. My guess is an average of 6-8 times a year. At one point in my life it happened with such frequency that I began a log of such occurrences and considered carrying an area map with me.

7 I do not like gossip and wish everyone would mind their own business. Sometimes I tell people this. I think it makes them happy.

8 I can stare at good photographs for a long time.

9 A bear once used my toothbrush at the beginning of a long hike. Did I use the recovered utensil? mmm mmm.

10 Once, early on in marriage, I asked Jerry to help me cook by cutting up an onion. He had not done a lot of cooking to that point in his life and asked me how he should cut it. I told him to cut it in small equal sized pieces. He raised his eyebrows and looked overwhelmed and said, "You're talking about spherical dimensions..."

11 One of the dumbest things I've ever done is try to dry my socks in the oven. Hey- I was in a hurry.

12 There were years of my life when all day every day, no matter how much sleep I got, I was tired. Those days are over now.

13 Public Speaking- most people hate it, I like it.

14 Jerry and I make financial decisions in much the same way. I would guess that we spend at least 1 minute of thought or internet research per dollar spent. It took us a long time to buy a car.

15 I once heard of a book called "Silencing Your Inner Critic". I thought, "Huh. My inner critic? I'm not even sure that we've met. Maybe my inner critic is asleep on the job."

16 As a child, Halloween was actually scary. My sisters and I would knock on a door to trick or treat and my dad would slip away and hide. And as we would leave and walk toward the next house, we never knew where he might be... somewhere waiting there in the shadows, a 6'2'' vampire.

17 I prefer the Suzuki method for cooking. It's like someone saying, "I play by ear." I don't read recipes, I cook by mouth.

18 Both Jerry and I thought parenting a small child was going to be 90% work, and 10% good times (which would presumably make up for the 90). We were pleased to find that the numbers are in actuality inverted.

19 The worst thing I've ever accidentally dropped in a toilet was my snowboarding goggles. So bad for so many reasons.

20 When I was young I had a tendency to ask for some less than traditional Christmas presents. Including, but not exclusive to: Ketchup packets (the kind you get at a fast food place), chickens, a banana cream pie to stick my face in. These are at least the ones I remember due to parental compliance.

21 On a directly connected note, I once owned a pet chicken. Named it "Pot Pie". Just wait this story gets better. I taught Pot Pie to walk with me on a leash. I painted Pot Pie's toenails. I taught Pot Pie to ride on the handlebars of my bike. That was one smart chicken.

22 The only bumper sticker I've ever had on my car was one about Ultimate Frisbee. I currently play twice a week.

23 Once, while riding my bike to work, I came across a group of boys beating up another boy. I jumped off and threw down my bike in a big crash and yelled, "HEY!". They stopped and turned to look at me. All I came up with to do was to stick up a finger at them and say "Be nice!".

24 I spent 10 months of my life in England living with 8 Chinese women.

25 I find stereotypes and categorizing myself or others intellectually uncomfortable. I think it marks the end of investigation and therefore the end of growth. This was a significant hindrance to writing this list. After every thing about me I want to add "sometimes".

Friday, November 12, 2010

Remember These?

Up too late last night, I browsed through these again. I thought they should be saved for posterity, so let's start w/ Rachel:

1) My name was Margaret for the first week of my life.

2) Mayonnaise, scorpions, and calling people on the phone all give me the heebie jeebies.

3) The most random job I've ever had was as a personal assistant for a man I know. I basically did anything he couldnt get to on his checklist- I painted the interior of his house. I rode his horses to get them into shape. I cooked his kids dinner. I drove him to San Jose. I cleaned out his closets and garage...and sold whatever I found on eBay (including motorcycles, airplane parts, and gas masks). It was a fantastic summer.

4) The coolest job I've ever had was as a nanny for my sister and brother-in-law as they traveled with their daughter. So I basically got two trips to New York and Korea in exchange for a little babysitting.

5) My goal in life is to be more like my sisters.

6) I have the talent/curse of being somewhat good at a lot of things, but not really good at anything. Thus I have lots of half skills, but nothing worth showing off.

7) I hate writing. Once in high school I was supposed to write a story about the word 'gibberish'. So, trying to be clever and sassy, I wrote two pages of meaningless words. I got a A.

8) I worry about getting old, about getting divorced, and about disappointing people.

....I hope you're not disappointed if I didnt tag you in this note...

9) When I was younger I had a rather uncanny ability to catch wild animals using only my bare hands- tadpoles, lizards, frogs, mice, fish, gophers, salamanders, crawdads, birds, snakes. I'm sad to say that this skill has declined over the years since I no longer spend 95% of my free time in my 5 acre backyard.

10) Along that line, I was a tomboy for the first half of my life. This is due in large part to my cousin Joel, who is also my best friend. We lived right next to each other growing up and entertained ourselves by trading baseball cards (I had over 2000), shooting slingshots, boxing, and knife-fighting with pvc pipes (which is a very bad idea).

11) Joel and I once tried to save the entire tadpole population in my backyard creek. The water in the creek was almost gone, and they were all going to shrivel up and die if we didnt do something. So we proceeded to catch hundreds of 4 inch long tadpoles and put them in buckets on my back porch. The next morning every single one had died.

12) There's a good chance I'm engaged to someone in Guatemala. I didnt understand much of the conversation, so I just nodded my head and agreed with everything he said, and he gave me a ring when we parted company.

13) I've been waterboarded.

14) Since I'm the youngest of 6 girls, I'm usually the one to get demoted to what my family calls the "Pish Posh". The Pish Posh is the trunk of the car when there's not enough seats. It's the couch when there's not enough beds. While my family has always thought of this as the short end of the stick, I've always rather enjoyed taking the small cozy spaces. Case in point- I am currently living under my sister's stairs and loving it.

15) I used to like jumping off really high things into water (piers, cliffs, bridges)...until one day when I did a back flop off a 30-foot cliff. Now I dont know if I will ever jump off anything higher than a diving board.

16) I once picked the winning horses in five straight races.

17) I love tomatoes. When I was little my mom would take me to the store and tell me I could get myself one thing as a treat. I would pick out the biggest tomato I could find. I was sad to find out, however, that tomato popsicles are gross.

18) In the first grade the song Puff the Magic Dragon made me cry so hard the school office had to call my dad to see if he could figure out what was the matter with me. My dad finally calmed me down by rewriting the end of the song for me so that Little Jackie and Puff could play together forever.

19) My favorite place in the world is a beach on the island of Chiloé. There, and Auberry, CA.

20) I'll come right out and admit it- I dont really like dogs. I have my reasons: When I was 6 I saw a great dane attack my friend's face. When I was 9 my cousins had a dog that peed on you whenever it got excited...which was often. When I was 13 my mom and I got attacked by a pack of dogs and we had to beat them off with sticks. When I was 15 I used my violin case to whack away the neighbor dogs every time I had to walk to my violin lesson. My family owned one dog during my life and it was my job to pull off the ticks. So no, I dont really like dogs.

21) Plucking my eyebrows makes me sneeze.

22) I got in trouble once in elementary school, and that was for eating Apple Jacks during class. I only got in trouble once in middle school, and that was for carving my initials into a tree. I only got in trouble once in high school, and that was for running on the rooftops of the classrooms. So I only really got in trouble 3 times...but that's because I only got caught 3 times.

23) I spent about 45 minutes in the back of a police truck driving around downtown Guatemala City last spring break.

24) I once had two mice. Two months later I had over 20. If you ever own mice, dont get a male and a female....they multiply like crazy.

25) I cant sleep right now because I have Bohemian Rhapsody stuck in my head. It's been stuck in my head for the past week.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lucy's Horrible Bad Day, by Lucy

1. I didn't get to wear the coats I wanted to wear.
2. My Dad couldn't drive me to school.
3. My computer teacher said Starfall is babyish.
4. I wanted to sit by Hailey but I couldn't.
5. I don't like salmon but I had to eat it.
6. Theo messed up my game.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

It sounded like a good idea...

I am an optimistic chef, with mixed results. It seems that my life philosophy of "oh, I'm sure it will work out" doesn't really translate well to the kitchen. Something to do with food science and chemical reactions not having as much leeway as they ought.
Vivian used to be the queen of creative substitutions, but then she gave it up for Lent one year and never went back. It's lonely now, in the 'sounded like a good idea' club. I thought it would be entertaining to make a list of various culinary adventures...please add your own, cause I don't have THAT many specifics:

1. tonight I was making an apple pie that called for apple juice...but I didn't have any apple juice. After briefly considering and then discarding cider vinegar, I found a juice box of fruit punch in the cupboard. Hey, this has apple juice IN it! No problem, right? But then as I was mixing it up, the filling clearly smelled like fruit punch. End result: happy. Fruit punch pie tasted just like apple pie. Yum.

2. Rachel reminded me of the time in Korea when we didn't have any vinegar to dye Easter eggs, so I mixed up the little pellets with a bottle of A1 steak sauce we'd inherited from the apartment's previous owners. Result: OK. The eggs did dye, but you had to leave them in for a long time and there were little red flakes all over them.

3. Making collard greens, I needed apple cider vinegar. Surely plain vinegar with apple juice mixed in will be the same, right? Result: Yes. vinegar + apple cider= apple cider vinegar.

4. In Puerto Rico I couldn't find any baking soda, so I decided to use baking powder instead to make cookies, figuring that baking powder has baking soda in it, so what's the difference?
Result: Bad. Very bad, very weird cookies. Do not recommend.

5. This list would not be complete without mentioning the time that Viv substituted chocolate chips for cream filling in cream puffs by simply mixing the chips into the puff dough. Result: infamously bad.

6. And also the time that Viv (pre-Lent) substituted granulated sugar for powdered sugar in the frosting of a homemade chocolate cake. Result: memorably gritty.

OK guys- your turn.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Easy to Please

You know you have done a little TOO good of a job on teaching your children not to be materialistic when this is the birthday list you get from your 12yr old daughter...

Presents:
a small statue from target
a lighter
feathers (for my collection)
my own ice cream
adventure books
back rub

Food:
spaghetti
chocolate/peanut butter cookies

Then she goes on with what she would like to give as presents to everyone else:
dad - chocolate/peanut butter cookies
mom - a chocolate/peanut butter cookie recipe
kids - cinnamon rolls

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

something to look forward too...

me: phew!! what are we going to be doing all day when we are 65?
let's daydream about that...
4:44 PM too old?
maybe 50.
4:45 PM Claire: hopefully reading
sitting on a porch
me: aahhh reading.
and walks.
Claire: yes
me: and some nice little hobby.
Claire: and cooking
for fun
me: ooohhh yes cooking
4:46 PM nice.
maybe yoga.
but only if we want too.
Claire: haha
me: and maybe a garden
Claire: maybe going on trips to north carolina or oregon and staying in bed and breakfasts
4:47 PM but not the kind where you have to talk to people
me: YES
and museums
and dinner parties. with no kids.
Claire: oh yes
4:48 PM and multi user video chats
me: and maybe plays.
ooohh nice
and concerts where once a year we pick one like u2 in ireland and we all meet there
4:49 PM Claire: haha
4:50 PM me: ok. thanks claire. when they talk about keeping the big picture in mind, that is what i will think about.
Claire: :)
i have one more to add
drinking chocolate milk
4:51 PM me: or expensive hot chocolate cuz we are in a b$b in oregon
Claire: haha
picking berries off the vine
me: and i have good shoes on.
Claire: right now? or in the "big picture?"
4:52 PM me: oh no, right now i am bare foot and my feet are killing me.
Claire: ah
yes
well, we could get foot massages, too
me: and we eat lots of vietnamese food
and buy jewlery that "gives back"
Claire: hahahaha
4:53 PM and we don't ever talk about mortgages, insurance, or health
4:54 PM and we sing
4:56 PM me: LOTS of singing
and crossword
Claire: oh yes
me: and time magazines
Claire: and vivian stays up late, and sarah sleeps in

Bad Spelling, No Advice

carrie: You've been invited to this chat room!
beth has joined
carrie: do you guys think I could run 10K?
by sept 18th?
8:16 PM yeah, me neither


24 minutes
8:43 PM beth: hi
anybody?
carrie: yeah
8:44 PM me
beth: a K is WAY less than a mile, no?
carrie: ya
beth: you could totally do it!
carrie: WAY
beth: :)
carrie: no, i'm coming to you for real advice
beth: (that was for lucy)
oo ok.
carrie: :)
beth: i'm reaky
carrie: you are reaky
beth: readyu
carrie: you're cracking me up
beth: let me try again. i sound drund
drunk
8:45 PM carrie: hahahaha
beth: hahaha
carrie: you're going to give me terrrible advicce
you can't even spell reaky
beth: bad spelling, great advice
ready go.
carrie: that should be your motto
beth: hahaha
carrie: no, it's just about the race
beth: on my buisness cards
8:46 PM carrie: that's what, 6,7 miles?
beth: yeah
no problem!
are you serious?
carrie: I went running twice this week
beth: really!! wow
carrie: and for the first time in my life i enjoyed it
but I also walked a lot
beth: WOW i am so amazed and jealous!
carrie: and maybe it was just getting out of the house
beth: how far
carrie: maybe 2 miles?
beth: nice!
8:47 PM what was the date again?
carrie: maybe running 1 mile
walking the other, if I'm honest
sept 18th
my neighbor wants me to do it
but that's a stretch
beth: no good advice if you aren't honest
it is a stretch
carrie: hmmm
8:48 PM beth: you would feel m
aach
i can't even type ack
carrie: yes, very m aach
beth: can you video chat
?
carrie: no
too late
beth: right.
ok
patience please
carrie: in fat, i should go
beth: haha
who you callin fat?
carrie: me
8:49 PM beth: just cuse you are a runner now...
carrie: maybe i'll see if i can run more than two days or 1 mile in a row
beth: i do have an opinion about this. and some good advice...
carrie: ok tell
beth: but you are going to have to get it tomorrow on the p;one or videjo i
someone moved the keys , iswear
carrie: haha
8:50 PM ok
manana
beth: bye

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween

It's been nice to have a fall season. Theo ate an apple like this, entirely unprompted. Lucy wanted to do the same, but she literally has no front teeth and can't do it.
I made an apple pie that looked like this. I was kind of proud, especially of the drizzled caramel.


Lucy wanted Theo to be Mr Tumnus, from the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I made him some horns by gluing kisses onto a headband.
Of course, he ate them. I was lamenting this to a friend, who responded by saying "oh, do you want to borrow my goat hat?"

Yes. Yes I do want to borrow your goat hat.
Queen Lucy and lovable sidekick Tumnus. They were cute.




Sunday, October 17, 2010

Skills





This is Lucy looking tough and Theo making his 'cute face' for the camera.








videoThis is Theo trying to ride and look cute at the same time.
videoNot sure why I continue to think i can film this way. Sorry.