Friday, January 30, 2009

Jury Duty

I'm off to do my civic duty.
And lots of reading.
(and letter-writing, and checkbook balancing and RS business...)
I've packed myself a little lunch and a big bag-o-business.
I'm considering it a catch up day for me,
and the lucky day of the week for the W******** Trial Court.
Those people don't know how lucky they are to have such a proficient multi-tasker in their midst. May it be a day short on trial and long on checking off the personal to-do list.
Think judicious thoughts!

Happy DPD to YOU!

Online privacy tips for teens ... and the adults who ignore them
By Paul McNamara
Created Jan 27 2009 - 11:28am
As anyone with a Social Security number knows, today is Data Privacy Day 2009
[1], the second annual international celebration of personal-information protection
[2]. (Don't forget to send your CSO flowers.)In honor of this pseudo-occasion, Intel has collected all manner of relevant resources and event listings, including its "Top Five Teen Privacy Tips."
[3]It's not a bad list, I mean other than the fact that No. 1 is pretty much the same as No. 4, and No. 5 -- gist: "Don't be a knucklehead" -- goes without saying.
What's lacking, though, are real-world examples that demonstrate the consequences of failing to follow
[4] all of this advice.
So, I thought I would provide a few ripped-from-the-headlines examples ... examples of the type that teens are most apt to appreciate: Those that involve stupid and/or inept grownups [5]. Teen Tip 1. Know your potential audience. Be aware that anyone, including site operators, advertisers, colleges, potential employers, friends and parents, as well as dangerous people or sexual predators may access, use, and forward the information you share online.And by "anyone" we mean school principals, too, as was learned by a 42-year-old high school band director who received this written reprimand [6] from his boss in 2007: "As we discussed in our conference, you are to deconstruct your MySpace account as soon as possible. Specifically, I am asking that you remove the pictures we spoke about and consider removing ... students from your friends list." Whether he complied is unclear. What is clear is that he was arrested last month and faces charges related to having sex with a student.Then there's the 29-year-old Massachusetts teacher who most certainly did not know [7] her potential audience when writing on MySpace about a 13-year-old boy, "It's hard to be with you and set boundaries." That one was forwarded to prosecutors.
Teen Tip 2. Use privacy settings to control who has access to information you put online, including your profile page, your photos, your "wall," and your online journals. Do not share your phone numbers, home address, date of birth, school or team name, travel plans, social security number or other national ID numbers, family financial information, bank or credit card numbers. Don't share your passwords with anyone.It's pretty clear that couldn't manage a MySpace page. The world's most famous online job site days ago began warning users [8] that it had allowed unauthorized outsiders access to stored user names, e-mail addresses, birth dates, and in some cases, states of residence -- along with user IDs and passwords. Of course, this kind of thing can happen to the best of companies ... it's the third time for Monster in the past two years.
Teen Tip 3. Don't accept "friends" you do not know in the real world. Never agree to meet anyone in person you have only "met" online.By friends here we mean "Friends," as in Chandler Bing, also known as actor Matthew Perry. Any teenager would know that Perry, being notoriously faithful to Monica, would never strike up an online romance with another woman. Less attuned was grownup woman "Kirsty," who not only deluded herself thusly for 11 months but went on "Dr. Phil" [9] to talk about it. Dr. Phil: "Why did you think that Matthew Perry would be on Facebook chatting you up for 11 months?" Kirsty: "In the back of my mind I flip-flopped back and forth." My advice: If you do make this kind of mistake, do not go on national TV to try to explain that which cannot be explained.
Teen Tip 4. Think before you post. If you would not want a college or a prospective employer to see it, or if you wouldn't share it with your parents, don't post it. ... Don't identify others on your page in a way they would not identify themselves or post photos they would not post. Protect yourself. Ask friends to take down content about you that you would not post yourself, and un-tag photos that you may find embarrassing in the future.Say you're a 27-year-old hot-shot speechwriter for soon-to-be-president Barack Obama, and, in a moment of beer-soaked revelry, you happened to be photographed groping a cardboard breast on a cardboard cutout of the former first lady and soon-to-be-secretary-of-state. You wouldn't want that picture to show up on Facebook, would you? Neither did Jon Favreau, who miraculously got off with just an apology and is now dating [10] a Maxim model (OK, maybe Favreau isn't the best cautionary tale to use here.)
Teen Tip 5. You are your own best protector online. Online conduct has consequences. Make smart choices. In other words, do as adults say, not as they do.

So... Happy Data Privacy Day to YOU!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

While you were....?

This is what we were doing:

(Where did January go?--bits of the month have disappeared into the memory banks.)

Discovering a very large beaver-gnawed tree in our backyard,

babysitting a darling little baby,

Making our driveway look a little less like the arctic north and more like a driveway

(before the next snowfall),

More baby oogling,Sledding with cousins

sliding into the big backyard;

And drying LOTS of snow gear in front of the cozy fire.

So what were you doing?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

ignore the chore

What do you do for fun after dinner?

Wait... let me rephrase that: How do YOU avoid your kitchen duties after eating?

I'm off to church for a meeting.

That's how I'll get out of doing the dishes tonight.

(and amazing spouseman will come through for me! THANKS.spouseman.)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Praise to the man

To praise means to express great approval, admiration, and respect for a person’s achievements and good qualities. When W. W. Phelps wrote the song “Praise to the Man” he was expressing his admiration for the Prophet Joseph Smith who: “has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it.” D&C 135:3

Check out this inspirational song from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's newest CD.

Thanks, Hometeacher!

Friday, January 23, 2009

for the love of words

I just finished this.
(I laughed, I cried... it moved me.)
You should read it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Can't name this.

I smell pee.
Not in the typical places, either.
I won't spell it out--(but maybe I will)
suffice it to say I'm not pleased.
The urine odor does not seem to be of the human variety,
and it does NOT belong in the vicinity of my ~hello~ PIANO that-I-love!
Nor on the wood work nor in the 'action' nor in any other piano-ish place.
I put myself in a time out.
I divorced myself from mean thoughts about felines.
I sprayed, wiped, cleaned and did it again. and again. and again.
I even went to the basement and lovingly cleaned out their litter boxes.
and fed them.
I think we're going to be okay.
I don't want you to tell me what I should do with those c-a-t-s's...
BUT; I would be interested in hearing about something that gets your goat.
and then what you do to feel better. Hearing about your pain will lessen mine.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

if FASHION dictates success...

We're on TOP!
I don't know about you, but I certainly feel better knowing that the leader of our country will not be arm-in-arm with a frump-queen. Mrs. O. is making bold, designer choices,

and she looked fabulous from sun-up 'til sun-down on inauguration day.

So we're to glean hope from knowing that her wardrobe choices will be haute couture.

She wields the strong arm of clothing confidence. I feel so much better!
(seriously--I LOVED her ensemble for taking the oath)

my shallow take on inauguration day 2009.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

2 things

that made me smile:A child, who, when served spinach salad for dinner, actually chooses to eat the choicest part of the spinach, and doesn't complain about it being spinach. (the discarded stems crack me up)


the skating rink for the 'big' boys. If you look in the background, you'll see the yellow of our house. The rink in the front yard apparently wasn't quite what these guys had in mind, so they trekked on out to the pond and made their own. Way cool. (oh. and happy inauguration day.)

Monday, January 19, 2009


And the lucky winner is:
I have to admit, I don't know her...
but thanks for playing!
She apparently lives in Dunedin, New Zealand.
(how exciting and exotic)
Here's M with 'the hat.'
And now, let me tell you a little bit more about what Sherry won:
I wanted to include a copy of this book. Two of my VERY favorite things in the world are reading, and writing letters.
I don't know if Sherry already has a copy, or if she's ever read it, so here's where the choosing comes in. I'll send you this book, or if you own it or have already read it, you can have the Barnes and Noble gift card you see in the pile below, instead. ALSO, I've included a very cute picture book. Another of my favorite things is reading stories to children. This one happens to be a good one for the upcoming season of love. To go with it? A new journal (another of my loves--I actually like journaling for my children more than for me), some nice smooth-y pens for writing, and some tres chic notes. (I also had a stand-by 'male' version in case the winner was not of the feminine variety.) The B&N gift card is in there, and last but not least, a cute little wooden sign that reads "Enter as Strangers, Leave as Friends." And THAT is what I hope Sherry has done on my blog. This was fun!
And I wish I could have picked EVERY name...
THANK YOU for playing.
we'll have to do this again.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Now 'BE' Sunday.


The Sabbath is the Lord's day, set apart each week for rest and worship. In Old Testament times, God's covenant people observed the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week because God rested on the seventh day when He had created the earth. After the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, which occurred on the first day of the week, the Lord's disciples began observing the Sabbath on the first day of the week, Sunday (see Acts 20:7).

"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

"Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

"But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

"For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it" (Exodus 20:8–11).

The Lord told Moses that Sabbath observance was a sign between the Him and His people of the covenant between them (see Exodus 31:13).
In the latter days, the Lord commanded His people to continue observing the Sabbath. He has promised that if we obey this commandment, we will receive "the fulness of the earth" (see D&C 59:16–20).
Because the Sabbath is a holy day, it should be reserved for worthy and holy activities. Abstaining from work and recreation is not enough. In fact, those who merely lounge about doing nothing on the Sabbath fail to keep the day holy. In a revelation given to Joseph Smith in 1831, the Lord commanded: "That thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day; for verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High" (D&C 59:9–10). In harmony with this revelation, Church members attend sacrament meeting each week. Other Sabbath-day activities may include praying, meditating, studying the scriptures and the teachings of latter-day prophets, writing letters to family members and friends, reading wholesome material, visiting the sick and distressed, and attending other Church meetings.

A challenge to ME: Be more Sunday.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

How to 'BE' Saturday.

This is the ultimate weekender.
He has Saturday down to an art form

Here are the rules:
1. Start early. Enjoy Saturday while it's still REALLY late on Friday night. Watch a movie, play a game, read a book. Doesn't matter--just do it until you realize that it's no longer Friday night. Then retire.
2. Sleep late. To do this effectively, there are a separate subset of rules:
*protect your sleep. (wear earplugs, a mask for sleeping, have white noise on)
*make sure the people who share your abode are aware of your desire to sleep-in (signs on bedroom doors threatening those who interrupt your sleep are at least comical, if not effective)
3. Enjoy a breafast you like at your leisure. It might even be lunch time before you're putting breakfast in your mouth!
4. Wear comfortable PJs well into the afternoon. Maybe even all day.
5. Defend against bed-head: wear a hat with character.
6. Above all, BE Saturday. No week-day rush, stress or worries.
It's a beautiful thing.
OH. Here's the big P.S.--don't forget that tomorrow night is the deadline to enter the first-ever Daily Blessings Give-Away! and good luck!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wednesday: WAHOO! It's GIVE-AWAY day!!

I'm actually kind of excited about today.
It's fun to give.
I want to share some of my favorite things (with YOU!).
I will be putting together a package of things that I love,
and things representative of some of the things that I love
and I promise it won't be lame.
I will tell you this:
I've been gathering. (and it's fun!)
And there will be a couple of little strings attached.
*There will be the promise that if you win this give-away, you will write a letter to someone.
Not an email, but a letter.
I'll even throw in the postage.
Also, I'd like you to:
*Tell me who you would most like to receive a letter from.
Just leave me a comment.
You know, the good old-fashioned kind of letter that hardly shows up in the mailbox anymore. You can tell me why if you want, but you don't have to.
On Sunday, January 18th at 8:30 p.m. I will randomly pick a name (out of a hat, of course) and then send you along this bundle of fun!

Good Luck!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Can you help me?

Yesterday we made smoothies.
It's a treat we love.
I sent M. to get eight cups.
He called to me: Mom?! Could you help me?... I got the cups, but there's not eight yet.
Sad is the day when the mom says 'Oh, wait, M. I'll help you, but let me get my camera first!' There were actually six cups in hand, but the method of counting, holding and transporting cups to counter destination is still being perfected.

Monday, January 12, 2009

quote of the night

Tonight we stumbled through our family night as usual... so many people, so much to say... it's a good time. After M's lesson on the Creation, it was E's turn to pick the activity. Have you ever played 'Do you Love your Neighbor?' It's a family night classic.
Everyone sits in a seat with one person being 'it' in the middle.' The way it goes is this:
'it' picks a person seated somewhere and asks 'do you love your neighbor?'
if the person says YES, then his two neighbors (the people sitting on either side of him/her) get up and trade places while 'it' tries to take one of those seats, making a new person 'it.'
(are you getting 'it?')
It's a kind of brutal repetitive game, really, that turns us into primitive apes fighting for grunting rights. Oh. And if the chosen one says 'NO' then 'it' asks "then who DO you love?!"
That person then comes up with something clever like
"I love everyone who forgot to brush their teeth this morning" or
"I love everyone who is wearing purple underwear" at which point any person falling into that category then jumps up and scrambles for the available seat. Hopefully you get the idea, because just writing this thing is getting tedious for me.
So we're well into our evening, and some of us are growing tired of lifting our tired behinds out of the seats. Mr. W the adored spouseman is 'it.' He picks the little M--who props his cheek on his hand to think. Mr. W. is trying to quietly prompt him to say something that will force lazy teenage brothers off the couch, but M the morning man is not going for it. He pauses for a painfully longish time, and then says "I love everyone who has NAKED hair!" (and apparently that is M-speak for YOU DAD... that's YOU 'cuz your bald head in my four-year old little mind is NAKED!)

Love the thinks of a 4-year old morning guy.

OH. and lest you think I forgot, I did NOT. At a time to be disclosed later this week, I will be announcing that give-away!


One Blonde child! (You pick--just look at that picture above.)
(just kidding--but only sometimes)
Actually, maybe you'd like a 7 1/2 foot cat-mangled Christmas tree? (in original box!) or
a spinach-laden half-missing vegetable steamer? I've got some GOOD stuff here...
BUT. I do want to participate in this fabulous cultural tradition of bloggers.
So this will be the week that I announce the FIRST-EVER Daily Blessings give-away.
Oh. and P.S. Some of you know that I've been thinking about the jeans question. You must read this post. (you won't be sorry)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Food for Thought

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.
My confession:
I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees.. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are: Christmas trees.
It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu If people want a crèche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.
I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.
Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.
In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.
Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her 'How could God let something like this happen?' (regarding Katrina) Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, 'I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?'
In light of recent events... terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.
Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said OK.
Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.
Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'
Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully, Ben Stein

Friday, January 9, 2009

Why I am a Human Zamboni

Because I enjoy standing in freezing temperatures with windchill spraying water on the ice? Not so much. BUT I do enjoy watching my kidlets skate. AND I do enjoy the idea that YOU might come over to skate. Will you do that? For me? So that my human zamboni-ing is not in vain?

Thank you.

Do you have one of THESE?

I love mine. But I cannot figure out who is stealing the little metal segments.
Everytime I go to steam some new vegetable, one more piece of vegetable steaming armor is missing. I mean, if I was finding these little guys in the bottom of my dishwasher, I'd understand. The thing is, they just evaporate. I'm feeling like I need to add vegetable steamers to my food storage. I can no longer steam things without having a majority fall into the water. And pardon the wilty spinach leaves caught in the crevices... I clean AFTER I post!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Priscill-er

Birthday kisses to my favorite Mom.
I blogged about her just last month... she's worth reading about AGAIN (if you want).

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

quote of the hour

Me: (yelling to tween daughters hiding in basement with big screen ON) Hey! Turn off Hannah Montana, and if you must have that thing on, make it PBS kids! And while you're at it, take turns jumping on the tramp!
M(for Mr.M; the mini M): trampoline, she means! (because he likes Lady and the Tramp and I think he was worried about the real meaning of my yelling)

help wanted

I need a personal assistant.
School's been back in session three days, after three weeks off.
Seriously. My life is in need of some organization.
Is there one of you floating around out there looking for a cause to adopt?
Because mine is up for adoption. I need help.
Someone who can tell me where to put my stuff so I don't lose it,
when to go to my appointments so I don't forget them,
and how the heck to put away my holiday cheer in containers for next December.
Organization is a problem.
Oh. and could you be on call to run the forgotten lunches to various schools and also to take children to dentist, doctor, dermatologist and orthodontist appointments? And dance lessons, basketball practice and friends' houses.
Because I'm too busy to allow them to play with their friends.
Then there's the housework.
If you were here, I might be able to make dinner and keep up with the laundry. But I'm not so good at enforcing the 'make your bed' rule. Let's add that to YOUR list, too. And would you be so good as to remind me to drink my water and squeeze in some time to exercise and read?
I'd also like about 30 minutes a day to sit at the computer. Guilt-free.
Oh. And I can't pay you.
When can you start?

P.S. I pre-posted this blurb. And this very morning, I woke up to a SNOW DAY! It was like a vicarious personal assistant being dropped into my lap. No school, no activities, no appointments, no youth activities tonight. I played trains, made pancakes for breakfast and stayed at home ALL day. And I got to read a book AND everyone was told to make their bed. (But if you still want to adopt me, I would willingly submit.)

it's come to this


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

things to look for

1. humor in the everyday
2. the bright side
3. Spring

Did I tell you the story about the cold, windy day and how I decided to send a team of delivery children to the mailbox with some Christmas cards that are still trickling out of my house, the telephone/internet/cable bill and the mortgage payment? Let me emphasize for you that the wind was WHIPPING! And then let me add the detail that our mailman had delivered the day's mail before the little do-gooders got to the box. They followed instructions: the mail came out, the delivery went in, the flag went up. They made the wintery journey home. Two hours later I retrieved the small stack from the mailbox on my way out to run some errands. I figured I might as well stop along the way and drop the envelopes off at the Post Office. At this point, I look at the stack and it feels smaller. Something doesn't feel quite right. But I go, and deliver, and there is a nagging thought in my head that I ought to look at the checkbook when I get home, and recall which bills I was sending out that day. And. Well, after determining the MIA status of the envelope containing payment; the sinking realization that the mortgage payment flew from its assigned route to a wintery fate... I gathered my children (and the friends they had over that day) and we made a lengthy trip to forage for the stray mail. Under every bush and around every corner. In every adjoining neighbors' yard. To no avail. Then it snowed. A lot. I have made a staunch resolution for the new year: never EVER put your mortgage payment into the hands of anyone who has never made a mortgage payment before. Especially on a blustery day when the walk to the mailbox feels extra long, and something like you're forging through a northerly blizzard.

When Spring rolls around, I'll be keeping my eye out for something other than daffodils and crocuses. And maybe one or two of those late Christmas cards.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Sunday, January 4, 2009

get your house in order.

This is the gingerbread house we made for Christmas.
My contribution to orderliness was putting the carcass of this once beautiful confection into the trash. It made me feel good. It also made me think of the topic of 'getting our houses into order.' It's a New Year's thought. I found a great talk by Russell M. Nelson. Just click on the following link to read it.
-Russell M. Nelson

Saturday, January 3, 2009

it's story time

I know we've rung in the new year and said good-bye to the old.
But there are a few stories from 2008 I've left untold.
Like the baptism of this beautiful girl, which took place in a storm,
and her little brother, who uncharacteristically spent the evening on the floor, with his pillow and blanket. You see, he got 'the bug' that morning, a quite nasty and unpleasant bug, I might add, and secretly, we were all hoping it wasn't catchy.It's the quietest he's EVER been at church.
And then, five days later, he woke up with 'the bug' once more. Poor tyke. This time it was worse. I KNOW we were praying, this time, that it wouldn't make the rounds.
The four year old who doesn't want to open presents on Christmas.
He privately asked me later, 'how come I got sick on E's birthday AND on Christmas?
I shrugged my shoulders and gave him a squeeze, and was grateful that it was only a passing germ. AND... in a house full of TEN people for TEN days, he was somehow the only one who seemed to catch it.
I love the image of the little body sprawled on the beanbag, bowl ready;
and the mask worn for present-opening...
if there were enough to go around, I suspect there may have been more takers. I love the blessing of looking at and pondering life in retrospect...
and to be able to see that glass "half full!"

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year Foot Fashion

We paid to don these lovelies.
It was fashion AND fun!
(and the littlest toes whooped us all...)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Running in with the NEW year!

It was a fun new year's eve, complete with food, friends, family, and fun. We made foil boats, paper planes, blew bubbles, played pool, foos ball, darts and Snorta. We ran our naked feet into the snowy dark night, carrying tokens to represent resolutions, and then ran back in with the New Year--full of hope and ready to start clean. I'm good for another year. Happy 2009!

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