Thursday, December 11, 2014

Holiday Spirit

Gordon sang with the choir in the Annual Creche Festival last weekend.

Hal enjoyed it quite a bit.

During each song, he would sometimes play with toys, and sometimes watch and listen to the singing, totally into it.

The best part, though, was at the end of each song, the audience would applaud, and Hal would grab his little Lace-Up Teddy Bear toy, and hold it up high, sometimes like a lighter at a concert (one-handed), other times like Lloyd Dobler on Say Anything (two-handed).

Every time! He would hold it constant throughout the applause, and only lower it when the room got quiet again. Sometimes he'd be playing and distracted when a song ended, and watching him scramble like crazy to find the toy and stand up quickly was one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Friday, November 28, 2014

Who Had The Best Weather for Football?

I'll see your snow, and raise you to 34 degrees celsius.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Saturday, November 22, 2014

From the Annals of Lucy/Theo Conversations

(Theo leans across the backseat and lies across Lucy's lap)

Lucy: Theo, haven't you ever heard of a thing called personal space?
Theo: No, I haven't.
Lucy: Well, that's obvious. It's this area, around my body, and it belongs to me. You can't have it.
Theo: Well, can I rent it?
Lu: No you can't rent it- it's personal space!
Theo: Well, if you don't have enough, I could rent mine to YOU.
Lu: It doesn't work that way.
Theo: Sure it does, I'll sell you my personal space. For two dollars.
Theo: Special for you, three dollars.
Lucy: Listen to what I'm saying. No. Way.
Theo: Well, how much for your personal space?
Lucy: My personal space does not have a price.
Theo: It's FREE?! So I can just take it after all!
Lu: No, it's priceless. It's the most valuable thing I own right now. So get off of my lap!

Boot to the Head

Lucy passed her Yellow Belt test in Tae Kwon Do last week. In keeping with family tradition (was it Beth that I kicked?) she also kicked her brother really hard in the chest, just to see if it works.

It does.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

This Week

We found this instruction on a pack of joke chewing gum: "WARNING. Forbidder to affright ill and cowardly person."

I got to walk several blocks through downtown Bangkok at midday carrying a life-size cardboard cutout of Michael Jordan.

At one point this week I had 1,500 donuts in the trunk of my car.

I got a job offer, which is good except they want to pay me the same amount of money to work five days/week as I was making in one day/week in Atlanta. Hmmm.

Lucy got picked to carry the flag for the Americans at International Day at school. I got to eat at the International Day food court, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite events of the year.

Indonesia's table
Bahn mi, from the Vietnamese

Sunday, November 9, 2014


remember this girl?

Immigration Detention Center

Last Thursday I went to the Immigration Detention Center to visit a member of our ward who is being held there. He is in Thailand illegally- a refugee from Sri Lanka, and has been here for about 4 years, until he was picked up by customs about 4 months ago.

I had tried to go once before with another lady who knows the ropes, but I'd forgotten my passport and wasn't allowed in. This time I was all on my own, and a little flustered. I wasn't entirely sure how to get there, and definitely unsure about how to instruct a taxi driver. Walking from the train station took much longer than planned, and the straps broke on the grocery bag that I was carrying, so I was really hot and sweaty when I 10:02. You're supposed to register by 10:00 for the morning visiting hour, and the people working the desk didn't strike me as the really flexible sort. I was discouraged and sure I'd struck out for a second time. But for whatever reason, they gave me the forms to fill out, checked my passport and told me to sit. So I did.

At 10:30, they rolled back the big metal door on one end of the waiting area and I shuffled in with about 25 other visitors. They gave me a locker for my purse and checked out the groceries (no glass, all containers must be see-through). Then I got a pat down that would put TSA security checks to shame and was ushered into the visitation yard. This isn't my picture, but it looked pretty much like this:

It was at this point that I realized I had no idea what the man looked like. Most of the other visitors found the person they were looking for and paired off on either side of the fence (no touching!). I wandered up and down the line, trying to look friendly but not too friendly. I made brief eye contact with a number of strange men. At one point I saw one of the visitors throw something surreptitiously over the fence. After about 20 minutes, one of them approached me. "Sister?" he asked.

With everybody talking at once it was very noisy. We had a shouted conversation: "I'VE NEVER SEEN YOU BEFORE!" "I'VE NEVER SEEN YOU BEFORE EITHER!" After 10 minutes of limited-English, shouted small-talk, I wasn't sure what else to say. ("SO, IS THIS PLACE AS BAD AS IT LOOKS?!")
"I'M GOING TO GO NOW!" I yelled at him. "OK, SISTER!" he yelled back. "THANK YOU!" As I was walking away, he called to me again. "SISTER!" When I turned, he bowed to me. "REALLY. THANK YOU VERY MUCH."

Sometimes I am very glad that the church pushes you out of your comfort zone.

Saturday, November 8, 2014


colin saw a classic picture of louis armstrong with his trumpet and asked if that was the guy who was on top of the temple.

wouldn't that be fantastic!?

on another note,  eric told an adult today that all i make at home is frozen pizzas.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Kids and the Sea

We had a fantastic time with our friends this last weekend, playing at the beach. The waves were huge and the kids were just getting pounded.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

At least things improved...

A series of photos showing how much fun Hal had with Aunt Beth this week.

He did manage to have some fun when he didn't have a fever. Thanks Beth!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Lucy- 11 years

At 11, Lucy is a delight. She is smart, funny and kind. I don't have to tell her to do her homework and she washes her own hair. Her minor super-powers thus far are getting jokes, swallowing pills and turning off lights that were accidentally left on. She is a great big sister. She likes Thai food and creme brulee.

You can't see the flame because it's blue. Which means it's very hot.

Birthday party at the Cat Cafe. How many cats can you see?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Friday, September 26, 2014

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Saturday, September 13, 2014

isn't she pretty?!

i did it!  i got some pictures of darcy!  they need to be posted for posterity.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Arrrr.I.P., Starbuck.


"What do you hear, Starbuck?"
"Nothing but the rain, sir."

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Feel like smilin'

“Ooh Rachael you jus make me smile. Even when ah don’ feel like smilin’, ah jus canna help it when ah see you”.

Let me tell you, everyone should make it a life goal to be complimented by a feisty Jamaican lady at least once in their lifetime. It feels fantastic. 

Monday, August 18, 2014


We had a rough 4 days last week, regarding getting Hal to sleep, and to stay asleep. When he finally went to sleep Friday night, without hours of screaming, THEN slept ALL the way through the night, we felt a reward was in order.

A Saturday morning bike ride to Fluffy Donuts in our pajamas, to be specific.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

we are funny

i was going thru old emails and found some classic bits i thought were funny or worth keeping..

i sat with grandpa twice over the few days and he brought up the temple (with rachel) both times. 
i think he was glad he went.
i said, "so you think that will be your last time going?"
he said, "yes!  but come to think of it, i said that last time."

an email of thanks to cousin bryan:
just a follow up...
since the kindle showed up, my 4th grader (eric) has been reading like crazy. i had never been able to get him interested. his reward for reading a book on the kindle, is that i would buy him another one. 
he and i would like to let you know that he has just graduated from the special "reading lab" and is now in a regular reading group with his class!!!

thank you thank you! we love them.
Eric and Beth

ps. he is on his 5th book in 2 days"

Good Morning Beth
Bryan cried when he read your email. He cried again when I told Joy. He cried again when he shared the news with Bernyce, his mother-in-law. He was still emotional when he told me about it. You email will be a Christmas present he remembers for a long time.

vivian in response to a pinterest suggestion from me:
"i have seriously screwed up so many things with mod podge (ok at least 2 things).  i might hate that stuff."

ack.  sorry mom, it won't open on my computer.
will you cut and paste it into an email to me?
that will work.   or at least the part about resisting darkness.
but the whole thing is good too..

carrie's olympic thoughts:

"Theo, on sportsmanship: "If I could punch that guy in the face, would it slow him down enough so the American would win?"

 "Just discovered- Beth would make an AWESOME Olympics announcer.  Particularly with her ability to make things really exciting off the top, and then let you down easy at the end:  "Whoop!  A great performance by xxxx!  What an Olympian! Now of course he didn't have the technical elements of, say, the Russians, and there's no way he's making the finals, but truly, spectacular! What a wonderful experience for him!"  Plus, she would never do those awful in-your-face after the wreck interviews.  heck, i think we should just let Beth judge the Olympics.  "

Why is it that cross country skiing with a gun on your back makes you so much sexier than regular cross country skiers?"

this is how my conversation went with tim this morning..

t - sssooo did you ask me what our direct tv password was last night or was i dreaming?
b- no  i did.  carrie needed it to watch some olympics
t - i log in too from my phone, i wonder if they will call us on that
b- oh!  um, carrie has a .. thing on her phone that makes it think it ... is in the us.
t- a "thing"?   wow.
b- yeah.   a .. um.. magic thing.
t- (mocking me)  does it have sparkles when she logs in and get longer when she lies?
b - (me, pouty) nnnnooo.  she has to lie to log in...  duh.

"i've got an awesome sweater baller in mind. (never thought i'd type that sentence)"


"I was drinking the cold pie water with Gwen and missing you guys."  - vivian

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

jk, lol!

I had just crossed the border into Illinois on a road trip with my roommate Julia when my phone vibrated. I looked at it and saw “Message to Chris Gregory: Can’t send.” That’s so weird, I thought. I haven’t sent a text message to Chris in over a year…why would this pop up now? Has it been trying to send to Thailand all year and just now realized it couldn’t?
Just then, Julia’s phone received a message from me: “Just landed”. Huh. This was a bit more concerning, since I hadn’t had Julia pick me up from the airport recently, and my phone would have had ample opportunity to resend. What was going on here?
My phone soon vibrated again. It was a message from a friend that said “Home where? St Louis?” and then immediately after another friend texted “I think you meant to send that to someone else.”
Oh dear. Ohhh dear oh dear. Obviously, this was not a small, isolated event. I started getting nervous about the possibilities and the scope of the sitation – are people going get messages asking them to meet me somewhere? Teach a RS lesson? Commit me to attending a party? Then Julia raised me to a whole new level of concern when she said, “what if you texted your exes??” I laughed kind of shrilly and just hoped that my phone would have more decency than that.
Not even five minutes later I got a text from a past boyfriend. Who hadn’t spoken more than 5 sentences to me since we broke up. And of all of the things my deranged phone could have sent him, it sent him a text that asked if I wanted to meet up at his house later that evening.
I almost had to pull over to the side of the freeway so I wouldn’t literally die from embarrassment.
Days later I was still getting responses. One from my old bishop who gave me a hard time about forgetting my temple recommend yet again. Another from a friend who was really excited to go to dinner and a movie with me! and I had to awkwardly explain that I didn’t actually mean to send that invitation. I can only imagine what my ex-boyfriend must have thought when I propositioned him out of the blue. Obviously he was quite confused, but good-natured enough laugh it off with me, as were all of the bewildered people that responded to my mis-sent messages. But even though I am certainly embarrassed by those texts I know about, I am even more uncomfortable thinking about all of the texts that I have no idea were even sent. How many people are out there that received a random message from me that made no sense, didn’t respond to clarify, and now just think I’m crazy?

As a precaution, I think I might turn my phone off if I ever cross the Illinois border again.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

some have madness thrust upon them..

jackson - banging his head on the wall and moaning

me- "jack.  what are you doing?"

jack  (wailing) - "i don't know!"

“Some are born mad, some achieve madness, and some have madness thrust upon 'em.” 
― Emilie Autumn

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Hey kid, pick on someone your own size

Carrie came to visit last weekend, and I complained to her about how difficult it is to brush Hal's teeth, and how he acts like I'm torturing him.

A little later-

Carrie, in an upbeat, hopeful tone: Look! He's brushing the stuffed panda's teeth!
Gordon: [pause] He's always hated that panda.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

World What?

A Father's Day conversation:

Claire:   I actually have not watched even a little bit of the World Cup.

Dad:  ..... You are my least favorite.

Monday, June 16, 2014

who needs it?!

colin will say to jack, "lets go ride bikes!"

and this is what happens...

bare foot on gravel doesn't stop him.  he runs fast and far.

Friday, June 13, 2014

lawrences go to a pow wow

  it was amazing and loud and colorful.
i can't even describe the drums and singing.
the rest of it was set up like a renaissance fair, with booths selling wonderful things..
mom was a champ and bought each kid a treasure.