Showing posts from December, 2009

Last day

It's the end of the year, and amid tonight's bingeing on store brand Doritos, cheese puffs, and sour cream dip, I'll be thinking about the past year. Just for a lark, I decided to look at my first post of 2009, and whaddyaknow, I had made some resolutions. Hmmm. I don't remember doing that.

Might as well check to see if I actually completed any of them.

from my first post of the year:

Therefore, I, Shoebox Princess resolve to:

1. Buy a new pair of pretty pretty walkaround shoes this spring (maybe even two pairs!). My old sneaks are disintegrating after severe bullying and multiple piledriving by the teegage boys' muscular tennis shoe-boats.

Why did I not remember making this a resolution? I love shoes! I actually did buy a new pair of walkaround shoes but not until November. And I threw out the pairs that were destroyed by the boys' shoes.

2. Restrict the use of pizza delivery to once a week, unless I really need a break from making dinner.

Hey! I did really wel…


We've decided that Nomrom is a family version of a linger-longer to celebrate the cultural aspects of being a Latter-day Saint. Or it's a larger Family Home Evening--one that includes dinner.

Our Nomrom feast had:

A cream of mushroom soup based casserole topped with cheese (in this case Chicken Divan)
funeral potatoes (also with cheese)green jello with mysterious fruit chunks

a pop-and-sherbet-based punch
all eaten on golden plates.
Except the punch, of course. That we drank out of paper cups scrounged from our food storage. Before we ate, though, we had to sing a Nomrom carol, "Popcorn Popping" complete with actions.
Then the feasting began. We all sat around a large table with the extra leaf put in to symbolize large families and our "extra" children.
Next year, I hope to add a recitation of family history and a talent show for the showing off of new skills gained from Personal Progress, Duty to God, or Faith in God programs.

We were lucky enough to celebra…

A little more of Christmas day

Christmas afternoon and evening brought cousins and grandparents and aunts and uncles to our house for a very informal (I hadn't showered until people had started showing up, and nor had I done anything for food except heated up the punch and I certainly hadn't cleaned anything or done the least bit of housework) buffet dinner.

Here we are. And dangit, I forgot to get a picture of us siblings and our spouses. Oh well. Sorry, Steph, Travis, and Jim. Anyway, here am I with two of my siblings, Jake and Jen, and my dad and stepmom, Sharon. I'm glad you all came to my house so I didn't have to drive anywhere. Sorry if my house was a mess. Actually, I'm not all that sorry. My house is what it is and we are happy here.
Next up are some of the grandkids with their grandparents. Names in alphabetical order (aside from grandparents): Dylan, Hayley, (Other) Jim, Maddie, Matt, Maya, Morgan, Paul, and Rozzie. The children are not sitting in alphabetical order so if you…

The other reason for Christmas: family time

I don't want to give short shrift to my other post of today so if you haven't seen it or don't know that it existed, go here. Please don't think I am tootin' my own horn here and saying that you should read this post because it's really good; I'm just saying that it's a little slice of what I believe to be the real reason for celebrating Christmas. The stuff I am posting now is a return to my self-centered writing exercises and my desire to show off my children to their grandparents and aunts and uncles and friends, etc.

I wish I had remembered to bring my camera to my mother's house so I could get video footage of the drumming. Step-brother-in-law Todd (drummer for an 80s hair band that was big here in the Twin Cities and all around great guy) brought some percussional instruments, and Owen and Maya (nephew and niece respectively) had a mind-blowingly good time thumping them pagan skins (obscure Beatles reference. Name the context for 12 points …

Jesus Christ

Merry Christmas, one and all (and probably just one person will read this today--me, as I'm writing it. But no matter. It's my scripture study for the day and whether or not anyone else reads it is not important)! I hope you have enjoyed your holiday.

So I thought I'd ponder a few scriptures about the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ today.

I will start with what is in my mind the quintessential Nativity scripture (and not just because it's a well-known part of The Messiah oratorio):

Isaiah 9:6
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

I can find so much in just this one scripture. "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:" his birth was for us. We are born into this world for our own progression, essentially we are born each for him or herself, but Christ was born for us. H…

Simeon and Anna

The snow is gently falling, making the Currier and Ives vision of Christmas complete. Paul just got up and said he's going out to shovel the driveway. He can be such a pragmatic boy. I imagine that he wakes up, looks out the window, notices the snow, and thinks, "The driveway will need shoveling," and then does it. I don't think he realizes that he could sit around, playing Wii, or texting or generally laze around on the couch until I asked him to shovel, and even then, he'd have like two chances to pretend he didn't hear. But no, he's putting his boots on right now. He hasn't even eaten breakfast! I wonder if he's being good for Santa? But then he's like that all year long. He doesn't do bribery. He just does. Every family should have a Paul. They are so nice to have! I'd even rent Paul out.

Today's scripture (Luke 2:21-39) isn't considered part of the Nativity story, but it occurs so close to the night Christ was b…

Wise men

This has been a challenging, but rewarding, series of blog posts for me. Normally, I write in my notebook as I read the scriptures, and I miss days more often than I remember to do it. Hopefully (if you stick around long enough to read what I write) you don't find anything offensive or way off the mark. This is just a regular person searching for meaning and trying to personalize the scriptures.

Matthew 2:1-12

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

I wonder if the wise men were surprised that Herod apparently knew nothing of this King of the Jews? I wonder if even they expected that the Jews would have at least known as much about the coming of Christ as they did, having known of the signs and watched for them, presumably by reading of the prophecies of prophets before t…


Luke 2:8-20
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them:

I wonder if the angel tried to get the attention of anyone else? Were the shepherds the only ones who were of a mindset to listen? Will I hear inspiration and good news of the Spirit when the Spirit calls to me?

And they were sore afraid: And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

I wonder what the shepherds thought of Christ the Lord lying …

The manger

Matt's finger is not hurting him so much now. The blister looks icky and doesn't seem like a normal blister. The burn probably went pretty deep but I don't think a trip to the doctor is necessary. He says it only hurts when he forgets that it's injured and he bangs it on something. It was hard for him to get to sleep last night with it hurting so much, but I gave him some ibuprofen and I think that helped.

Anyway, on to the nativity story, which I was reminded in church today that it's not a "story" per se; it's truth. But it's hard for me to call it "nativity truth." So "story" it remains. Besides, I call recollections of my youth "stories" and it doesn't make them any less true.

So I move on to Luke 2 and I consider the manger. Luke 2:1-7

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was govern…

Christmas and geography (and mother guilt)

The setting: in the kitchen baking cookies

The ambiance: listening to Christmas music, specifically Nat King Cole's rendition of "Hark the Herald Angels Sing"

Matt says to me, "What is this person singing? 'With th' angelic coastal plains?' What does that have to do with Christmas?" (Nat was singing the line "With th' angelic host proclaims...") heeheehee!

And as I was typing this little anecdote, Matt burned two fingers probably pretty badly on a little lamp I left out by the stove. I had just blew out the flame on it and left the kitchen to type this. He got curious because he had never seen the lamp before and touched the really hot part. I feel awful for having left it out where a curious pre-teen boy can reach and touch it. Sigh.

Day 2 of the Nativity story: Joseph

This will be a shorter scripture study today. The subject matter is the mortal father of the nativity story, Joseph, and there isn't as much about him in the scriptures as there is about Mary. But within these few verses from Matthew 1:18-25, we get a glimpse into what kind of man he was.

Now, as it is written, the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.

A rather noble thing for a man who probably would have been totally within his rights to make a public example of his intended bride (side note: I'm assuming that Mary and Joseph were in an engagement sort of arrangement, since we know from the above scripture that they had not consummated their marriage). Many men would have been aggressive about having been wronged in this way, yet …

One week before Christmas

Normally I don't talk religion on my blog. I was never very comfortable discussing religion with people I don't know very well or who don't share my belief system. And even then, I keep my testimony mostly to myself because I am not a scriptorian or a great philosophizer, and I don't have any new insight that hasn't already been shouted from the rooftops elsewhere. I have my own insights related to my own life, but since nobody is in my place but me, I figure they wouldn't be of use to anyone else. Or easily understood. For the most part, my friends see me at church and I do what I have been asked to do (sometimes with great discomfort--I have a very hard time conducting Relief Society. I can play the organ in Sacrament meeting and goof up every verse in every song, but I have come to accept that as just a part of who I am. Standing up in front of people who are of greater apparent spirituality than I makes me want to hide in the Relief Society cupboard u…

Blog stalking guilt

I have a confession to make. I obsessively read several blogs written by people I find extremely irritating. And don't you dare think that you are one of those people. I am not talking about anyone on my bloglist to the side of this commentary. Or anyone who has ever commented on my blog or anyone I know in real life. If you are reading this and you say to yourself, "Gee, she must be talking about me" then you know for sure that I AM NOT. This means you, people whose names start with J, S, K, D, M, A, T, etc... who actually read my blog. I guarantee that none of the irritating people whose blogs I read out of some sort of deranged sense of indignancy and self-righteousness has ever read mine. These are people I do not know even cyberly. I stumbled upon them through blog-surfing and connections from places on the web.

Do any of you do this?

Without going into detail or giving links, here is why:

One I read because I want to validate my reasons for not homeschooling m…

Postlets in between bouts of exercism

...or exorcism, as it seems that's what I'm trying to perform on the fat cells in my body. They are little devils and have taken over my body and I can't get rid of them. The ritualistic kickboxing and kneeling before the altar of fitness videos hasn't worked. Ritual sacrifice under the knife might be necessary.

Sorry for the cerebral rambling (cerebral in the sense that my brain was doing it, not in the sense that it was intelligent in any way).

I'm in between fits of exercise at the moment and while I'm resting my feet, I thought I'd update you on the status of a few things.

First, I think I have figured out the exact plans for a feline takeover of the world. Shred paper found in the garbage all over the family room floor and when the humans are bent down picking up the bits of paper that the gutless vacuum wouldn't suck up, attack from behind.

Second, Jim and I are almost done with our anniversary movie list. We have taken a bit longer than planned…

If I had taken pictures

If I had taken pictures at the choir concert last night
you would have seen Matt with a shrunken hat that didn't quite fit him because it was put in the dryer after being would have seen several children all dressed in white shirts and dark pants/skirts, wearing scarves, and looking very festive (and slightly rumpled because their series of songs was at the very end of the concert and it's hard to sit still for that long and keep your clothes fresh and untampered with).you would have seen rosy cheeks from the wicked coldness outsideyou would have seen Hayley with her clarinet because she played a descant for one song, even though she's not in the children's choir would not have seen me in the pictures because I would have been taking the pictures. But the reason I didn't take pictures is because I was at the piano. Jim was working so he wasn't able to man the camera either.
Major stress event #2 of the week is now history and I heaved a m…


I woke up this morning and reminded myself that El Greco had a hard time finding patronage for his paintings.

I pulled on some pants and reminded myself that Schopenhauer is not the maiden name of my sister-in-law who likes to browse at the mall (rim shot. OK not rim shot, just a very lame joke with a limited set of folks who would even get it) but a philosopher with a negative view of mankind. Something about human desires cause suffering.

I grabbed my box of cereal and reminded myself that Bach and Handel were Baroque musicians and that Bach composed, among other things, fugues, and Handel was known for oratorios.

I ate my cereal reminding myself that Cervantes mocked the medieval tales of chivalry through his great novel (which I tried to read once as a teenager but gave up on it) Don Quixote.

It's going to be that way the rest of the day.

I'm swimming in Humanities information and drowning. I can't wait to empty the pool of Humanities knowledge tomorrow when I take the …

Winter snooze-a-thon

Other Jim and Paul appear to be having a contest to see who can sleep in the longest on a school's-canceled-because-of-the-weather day. I'm trying very hard not to interfere with the contest, although I did make Paul get up to feed the cats earlier because Magic and Servo were following me around and drooling.

Matt and Hayley are up and getting down to business playing. There is much to be played when school is not in session. There are things to draw, things to color, things to pretend, and DS and Wii games to be played. I will also interfere with their plans with my own list of things to do like vacuuming and practicing and sweeping and helping with food preparation.

After that, I'll leave them alone and hope they do likewise to me. I have a test to study for.

Yesterday's recap:
Party planning for our Relief Society Christmas party. I cannot emphasize enough how glad I am that it is over and done with. I had a heckuva day getting ready for it.

Ten things I learned …

Forget what I said about posting more videos

Hayley had a band concert this evening so I'm going to post pictures from that instead of more videos. Sorry to disappoint if you were expecting and wanting video clips. I stick my tongue out at you.

Hayley is a member of the 7th-8th grade honor band, and as such, had to wear special concert attire. This is her in her honor band outfit. She is allowed to wear black pants, but I am making her wear skirts. She rarely looks like a proper young lady, preferring sweatpants and sloppy t-shirts to even jeans and regular t-shirts. So it's nice to have her wearing a skirt to somewhere other than church.

This is her regular band, composed of all 7th graders. I think this is the first concert I've attended where I picked a seat with full view of my child. Yay for me!
This is the honor band. She sits way in the back and it's hard to see her.
And here she is, tooting her horn.For a while, I wasn't sure that Hayley liked playing an instrument, but when Mr. Hanson invited …

Late Thanksgiving post

I never did post anything from Thanksgiving. I left early the next morning for California.

I didn't take many pictures at Thanksgiving, but I did take some movie clips.

I give you now a small taste of what went on at my mother's for Thanksgiving. Three clips from Thanksgiving.

Nephew Owen loves Santa. Here he sings "Santa Claus is Coming to Town."

Matt tries to sing Jingle Bells

Niece Annie sings a song about a dog in school.

Maybe I'll post a couple more tomorrow.

A rare sighting of the entertainment center gnome

Something lives between the TV stand/entertainment center and the wall...

Very silly.

Actually the entertainment center gnome is helping Jim install a Christmas present. Yes, Jim is installing his own (really really early) Christmas present. He wanted it, and now.

Unpacking and finding something missing

I left my brain in Sacramento.
Flat on the road, it calls to me.
While driving that rental car,
Chewing up miles of tar,
It flung itself up in the air
Both lobes, the pair!
My brain waits there in Sacramento
Among the orchards, halfway to Yuba City
When I came home to Minnesota,
I came home brainless, no functionality!
(My sincerest apologies to Tony Bennett and whoever wrote the REAL song, "I Left My Heart in San Fransisco")I have no idea what my version means. I just came home from my trip and I've spent most of the time since my arrival either sleeping or talking on the phone. I can't seem to quite remember what I do around here so I'm doing a lot of standing around. Laundry? I can't just throw my stuff in the suitcase? Dinner? Where's the Wendy's with the chickens who live next door (and the rooster who crows at 4:30 AM Pacific Standard Time)? Housekeeping? Doesn't the staff around here do that sometime between 11 and 3 PM?

Adjusting: I'm havin…

I'm back!

Did you miss me as much as my cats did? I'm thinking that they didn't even know I was gone. Neither of them said hello to me when I got back. And they both looked at me this morning with hooded eyes and facial expressions that said, "Hey you. Turkey leftovers. Now."


And Fake Child is here already so I'm back "at work" with just 8 hours of sleep after getting off the plane.

I really should be unpacking.

Here is a statistical recount of my trip:

1 Sore foot
1 Strained shoulder
Multitudinous hangnails

Clothing and accessories purchased because a)I realized I forgot a couple of things and b)I was really sick of what I did manage to remember to bring:
2 pairs of shoes
1 purse
3 shirts
1 camisole

Number of hours spen…