Friday, July 27, 2007

Oh, The Memories...

I've been organizing lots of digital photos lately, and recently stumbled across this one that made me laugh.

The Princess, at age 2, drew this picture of me and The Dragon.

It says it all, doesn't it?

Heaven or Hell

A holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said, "Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like."

The Lord led the holy man to two doors. He opened one of the Doors and the holy man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table.

In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew which smelled delicious and made the holy man's mouth water.

The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful.

However, because the handle was longer than their arms they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.

The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.

The Lord said, "You have seen Hell."

They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man's mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump,laughing and talking.

The holy man said, "I don't understand."

"It is simple" said the Lord, "it requires but one skill. You see, they have learned to feed each other, while the greedy think only of themselves."

*** I love the twist on this. Just thought I'd share it with you.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Queen of Spelling is in the House!

Mingle2 - Check It Out

... but seriously, did you expect anything less from the 6th grade spelling bee champion of the Open Classroom?

No need for you to search my blog for all of my spelling errors. Really, no need at all.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Scenes From Our Garden

I thought that I'd share a few pictures of our garden (aka The Jungle) with you.

The jungle is home to a variety of plants and beasts: Corn, Peas, Carrots,
Pumpkins, Zucchinis, Cucumbers, Red (supposedly) Peppers, Tomatoes,
Green Onions, Bees, Worms, and Ants all share this tiny plot of land.

Our "Red" Peppers are looking rather "Green".

We have green tomatoes too. But the tomatoes give me hope for
our peppers; after all, they start out green yet they
somehow manage to turn red.

Some of the bounty from our garden. I know zucchini has a tendency
to grow mighty big, but this one isn't as large as you might think.
Those are CHERRY tomatoes.

We have a few small impatiens growing. I've decided that they are not
my favorite plant. They take a long time to bloom, and most of ours died.
The ones we have are pretty, but I'm not sure I'd go to the effort of growing them again.

And last but not least, sunflowers!

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Pioneer Day

Today is a holiday in Utah. It's Pioneer Day.

We'll be going to the Days of '47 Parade in the morning and we will enjoy some fireworks in the evening. The girls are really excited.

The King took charge of dinner tonight. Per the Dragon's request, we dined on "bones of meat." Quite delicious.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows

I'm finished!

Are you?

Labels: ,

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Reading Update

I've made some progress in the last two hours on my reading of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Now I'm up to page 173!

Still a good read. :) I think my eyes are starting to glaze over though. I can definitely see the advantages to Books on CD at this point.

This is kind-of exciting for me because this is the first Harry Potter book that I've read when it first came out. I was several years late into the whole Harry Potter thing, so three or four books were already out. And even though I was dying to read the new books when they first came out, I never wanted to buy them so I always waited until somebody loaned them to me, or I could get them from the library, or... waited until they came out in paperback so that I could buy them. That was always a long wait! So this is kind-of fun.

Labels: ,

Harry Potter Day

I think that today, barring the excited screams that occurred around midnight, is probably one of the quietest days that has occurred on earth in a very long time.

Everyone is reading.

Yes, the day has finally arrived - the day we have all been waiting for - the release of book 7 in the Harry Potter series - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

And yes, I am reading too. We were able to pick up The Princess' copy of the book from the library this morning. I've been reading since about 1:15 (for almost two hours), yet, I am only on page 93. And supposedly I'm a fast reader.

It's good. But don't worry, I'm not going to post any spoilers here.

Fun fact though - the back page of my copy of the book has all the printing information - you know, art work info, typeface used, stuff like that. And guess what else? Mine says it was printed and bound at R.R. Donnelly in Harrisonburg, Virginia! That is simply awesome. (For those of you that don't know, that's where we used to live and work for multiple years).

If this is true, Crawfordsville, IN, didn't get ALL the books.

I've got to go - I've still got about 660 pages left to read.

Are you reading too?

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Poor Dragon. For some reason, she seems to be a bit obsessed with death right now. A week or so ago she told me that she didn't want to die, and of course, I reassured her that she's not going to die anytime soon. Naturally, I don't know when she's going to die, but I figure she doesn't need to know that.

Anyway, today she asked,

"If Heavenly Father really loves me, why can't He send me back down to earth after I die?"

Wow. Am I really supposed to answer that question? I asked The Dragon why she wanted to stay on earth, and she simply said "I LOVE Earth." I told her that Heaven was far more beautiful and wonderful than Earth, and that when she died she would be OK, and that if she wanted to see Earth, that Heavenly Father would let her.

The answer seemed to calm her, but it seems woefully inadequate to me.


Sunday, July 15, 2007


All the hard work that The King has put into our garden has paid off. We now have zucchini. Does that surprise anyone? I am certainly not surprised - it seems like there is never a shortage of this vegetable come summer time.

We have tomatoes, but they are still green. Our peas will probably be ready within another week (maybe two), the corn is growing very tall but only time will tell, we also have pumpkins, carrots, green onions, and red peppers.

Anyway, since we now have zucchini, I must find ways to use it all. Kristel (my brother's girlfriend) gave us a recipe that they loved. I made it tonight with mixed reviews. I think The King and I said it was 'passable'. The girls gave it a 'thumbs down'. Kristel and my brother, however, said it was 'super duper!' Since everyone has different tastes, I thought I'd share it with you. Let me know what you think.

Zucchini Patties

2 cups grated zucchini
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
salt to taste

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1) In a medium bowl, combine the zucchini, eggs, onion, flour, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, and salt. Stir well to distribute evenly.

2) Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Drop the zucchini mixture by heaping tablespoonfuls and cook for a few minutes on each side until golden. Serve hot.

Honestly, they reminded me a little bit of potato pancakes. We also thought they needed a little bit more flavor, so keep that in mind. Ultimately, we ended up dipping them in marinara sauce. They weren't bad, but I think we will definitely need to doctor them up a bit if we decide to make them again.

Labels: ,

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Another Weekend...

EDITORS NOTE: I have just reread this entry, and I realize that the last paragraph may sound a little bit like I blame The King for what happened to The Dragon during swimming lessons. For the record, I do not blame The King for handing her over to the instructors. She could've easily calmed down and have been just fine going off of the diving board. There wasn't much that The King or I could've done to stop this from happening - other than yelling at the instructors - so again I say, I DO NOT blame The King. Just wanted to clarify! :)

Pictures of the bracelets, eh? I'll have to see what I can do, because if you have kids, you are probably well aware that what the kids "really want" quickly becomes LOST amongst all the other things that the kids "really wanted." They're around here somewhere... I'm sure of it.

The King has been working very hard today on a home improvement project. He is making window sills for all of our upstairs windows. The downstairs windows will have to wait a while. As usual, we encountered conflict, but I think we have moved beyond it. I think that by the time they are finished, they will be quite nice. Much better than the drywall squares we are currently stuck with. One thing this house has taught me is that if we are ever looking to move, I will think twice about buying from Ivory Homes. Let's just say that the quality of their work leaves something to be desired. It's frustrating.

The girls had swimming lessons today. Unfortunately, the pool seemed to be short on instructors, so they combined the Level 2 and Level 3 class. The good news, The Princess and The Dragon were in the same class. That, unfortunately, was also the bad news. The Dragon couldn't do half, or hell, three-quarters of what the rest of the class could do. They also dropped her (screaming) off of the low-dive. I'm not very happy about that, but The King was present and he was the one who handed her over to them knowing full well what was about to happen. So I don't exactly feel like I can blame the instructors entirely. I reserve the right to reserve judgment until NEXT week - when I can see how The Dragon reacts to the swimming pool in general.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Congratulations, Princess!

What we loving refer to as "our branch" of the County Library System was holding a spell writing contest a few weeks ago. It was (like everything else these days) in honor of the impending release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. They encouraged children to submit their own rhyming spell, and in exchange, gave them a bracelet kit with beads that changed colors in sunlight. They also said that they would give a copy of "Deathly Hallows" to the person (ages 5-17) who wrote the best rhyming spell.

The Princess won for her spell "My Favorite Recipe." Basically, it was a recipe for spaghetti - her favorite food.

Unfortunately, I don't have a copy of it because it was a spur of a minute thing and we just handed the entire thing in, not thinking very much about it. But if I get a copy of it, I'll be sure to have her post it on her blog.

As a side note, I do feel a little bit guilty because I helped her write it. I did not write the whole thing. The idea was definitely hers. The idea(s) of what to put in it were hers. But I did help her rearrange it a little bit, and I helped her find some words that actually rhymed. :) It was such a spur of the moment activity - we just threw it together while sitting on the floor of the library. The kids REALLY wanted those bracelets. That's OK, isn't it?

Labels: ,

Monday, July 09, 2007

Extreme Home Makeover

I don't watch "Extreme Home Makeover" on a regular basis, but it is a show that I enjoy. Last night I watched the 2nd half of the episode featuring the Koepke Family. As usual, I ended up crying - it's so emotional. You have this family that is happy beyond belief because of the beautiful new home that has been given to them, yet you know that there is still sorrow because they lost their Dad - and yet, at the same time, he is the one who made it possible that they could have this new home. Heart wrenching.

Anyway, the Dad had a saying, and it was featured on a special bench that EHM built for the family. I love it, so I thought I'd post it here (this is my journal more or less so what better place?):

"There's a lot of things to think about,
but nothing to worry about."
- Matt Koepke


Sunday, July 08, 2007

40 Minutes to Go...

... and there's nothing to do.

The girls and I got ready for church early this morning, rather than waiting until the last minute. Hence, I have nothing to do.

Oops. I lied. I should still pack a few snacks for the girls, but seriously, it's weird being all ready rather than running around in a panic at the last minute.

It's kind-of nice. Maybe I'll try this again next week.


Friday, July 06, 2007

Just Another Day

I finished Book 4 of the Harry Potter Saga today. Only 16 more days until the book is here, though I may possibly have to wait another three weeks before I can get my hands on a copy. Don't spoil it for me, OK?

The girls and I have enjoyed a fairly pleasant morning together. May the afternoon continue to run so smoothly.

I am going to attend a crop tonight. It will be nice to get out of the house, but that's about it.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Wrong Number Manners

-- rant begins --

My cell phone rings. I answer it.

Me: Hello?
Caller: Hi!
Me: Hi.
Caller: Who is this?
Me: The Queen (OK, I used my real name but you get the point)
Caller: Oh.
Me: (silent)
Caller: Did I get the wrong number?
Me: I don't know.
Caller: What number did I call?
Me: I don't know - what number did you call?
Caller: 703-8447
Me: I'm sorry, that's not this number.
Caller: Oh. (click)

Um, I probably don't know what the "correct" protocol is when you mis-dial a phone number, but I'm pretty sure that entering into a game of 20 questions is NOT it. When I dial a wrong number and I am unsure if I reached the right number, I quickly inform them of the number I was trying to reach and ask if this is that number. Since it usually isn't, I quickly apologize and get off the phone. What do you do?

I find it amusing, however, that this caller thought I was psychic and could tell her what number she dialed. I know what she meant, of course, but I have had the experience of dialing a number correctly but have been connected to the WRONG number. So, telling her what number she dialed (if I had actually known) wouldn't have necessarily helped.

-- end of rant --

Labels: ,

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Independence Day!

If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.

He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.

It is not a field of a few acres of ground, but a cause, that we are defending, and whether we defeat the enemy in one battle, or by degrees, the consequences will be the same.

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. ~Thomas Paine

This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave. ~Elmer Davis

Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed - else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die. ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

This, then, is the state of the union: free and restless, growing and full of hope. So it was in the beginning. So it shall always be, while God is willing, and we are strong enough to keep the faith. ~Lyndon B. Johnson

For what avail the plough or sail, or land or life, if freedom fail? ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Those who won our independence believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty. ~Louis D. Brandeis

Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better. ~Albert Camus

It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you. ~Dick Cheney

Liberty is the breath of life to nations. ~George Bernard Shaw

America is much more than a geographical fact. It is a political and moral fact - the first community in which men set out in principle to institutionalize freedom, responsible government, and human equality. ~Adlai Stevenson

May the sun in his course visit no land more free, more happy, more lovely, than this our own country! ~Daniel Webster

We on this continent should never forget that men first crossed the Atlantic not to find soil for their ploughs but to secure liberty for their souls. ~Robert J. McCracken

If our country is worth dying for in time of war let us resolve that it is truly worth living for in time of peace. ~Hamilton Fish

I prefer liberty with danger to peace with slavery. ~Author Unknown

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Good-bye June, Hello July!

Another month has come and gone, so as promised, I have provided "June Photos" on our website for your enjoyment. Remember that you can see our photos "in living color" by clicking on the gray scale thumbnails.

The summer is flying by. "Mom's School" is not working out as planned because we have had so many different activities at different times each day, any kind of routine has kind-of fallen by the wayside. Life should slow back down in about 2-3 weeks, so I plan on torturing my children for the rest of the summer. MUAHAHAHA!

Here's a recap of the past few days:

On Friday, it was our Stake Lagoon Day. I finally gathered up enough energy to drag the kids to Lagoon at around 3:00 in the afternoon. I had a long talk with The Princess about how I would not be able to take her on the roller coasters as there would be no one to watch The Dragon, and she agreed to not complain. Ironically, she did rather well, and a friend offered to watch The Dragon so I was able to take The Princess on one roller coaster. The girls and I love how the entire park lights up at night, so I had planned on staying until it got dark... about 9:00. We stayed until 11:30! Oops.

When we got home, my right leg was in serious pain. I had developed a muscle cramp or two while walking the park but by the time we got home, it was much worse. I spent a very restless night with the heating pad - yelping in pain every time that I moved.

On Saturday, my leg was feeling better than it did the night before, but not healed. I took the girls to swimming lessons (the last one in this session). The girls have improved so much! The Princess is actually swimming (breathing needs a lot of work), and The Dragon will do pretty much anything her teacher tells her to do, including putting her face in the water. Something I have realized, but tend to keep forgetting: Don't "ASK" your kids to do something if you want them to actually do it. Her regular teacher always says something like "Now we're going to blow bubbles - it's your turn... BLOW!" And the kids do it. The Dragon had a substitute on Saturday, and she said things like "Will you blow bubbles for me?" or "Who wants to put their face in the water?" and almost every time The Dragon and her friend replied with "No!" and "Not me!"

Saturday evening we invited some friends over for dinner and games. Unfortunately, Jon was on call and so our evening was disrupted as he had to go into the hospital twice. We had a great time with his wife Julie and their kids, but we felt bad that Jon couldn't spend the evening with us. We knew there was a chance this could happen - and OUR feelings were NOT hurt - but we wanted him to have fun too, and he couldn't. Ah well! We tried.

On Sunday my leg was cramped again, so I skipped church and stayed home. I did take the girls to Grandma's house in the evening for dinner.

Yesterday, was a very busy day. We made plans to meet my cousin and her family at Hogle Zoo. We were supposed to be there at 9:00. They didn't get there until about 10:00 (I had planned on this happening - it's normal!). We saw about two animals, and then I had to leave to take The Princess to dance class. The Dragon opted to stay at the zoo with her 2nd cousin. After dance, The Princess and I headed back to the zoo. Once we arrived, I called my Aunt to see which part of the zoo they were at and if they were planning on coming back up the hill in a few minutes or if we should go down to meet them. You can see what's going to happen, right? Yep, we were told that they weren't done yet and to "come on down", so we did. And then we proceeded to march right back up the hill, because they were done. Lovely. We went on a train ride, and then my relatives were ready to call it quits. It was really hot! Days like this are when I am really grateful that we have an annual pass to the Zoo!

But, the girls were ready for more of an adventure, so we headed across the street to "This Is The Place Heritage Park." It was free admission day, and since we were so close, I figured we could go check it out for an hour or two. Besides, they were giving away free ice cream. FOUR hours later, we finally left. We rode a train, explored the farm house of Brigham Young, rode the train again, had free chocolate ice cream, checked out a school house, went on a pony ride, visited the petting zoo, made candles, went on a covered wagon ride, made bread, ate cookies, went on ANOTHER train ride, bought a magnet for our fridge, and went home.

Ironically, my leg survived. It's still a little stiff and sore, but not bad.

Tonight, the Independence Day celebrations begin. We are going to Grandma's for dinner, and then we are going to go see some fireworks! Should be lots of fun. Hope I remember to pack the earplugs for The Dragon!

  Graphics by and Copyright © 2001 Point of Focus