Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fall Colors {Reposting}

After seeing my mom's pretty pictures of the leaves up the canyon, and hearing on the news that our cold storm coming through this Wed. would effectively destroy them all, I was determined to go up and see them on Sun. So we took my mom again for a little drive up Provo Canyon and up to Sundance Ski Resort, where we walked around a little. It was late in the afternoon and the sun was beginning to dip behind the mountain, so some of the pictures aren't quite as brilliant as they would have been with the sunshine on them. But it was still spectacular to see. Made me very very happy. :)

This was taken through the car windshield in motion, so it's a blur. But it kind of looks like an impressionistic painting, doesn't it?

So many pretty colors!
Abigail has a school project where she is supposed to collect and press a bunch of fall leaves and this was the perfect place to do it!! I also read somewhere that you can dip the leaves in paraffin wax and preserve the colors that way, and then use them for decorations. I can't wait to try it!

A rare occasion for a family portrait! And hardly any of the kids are smiling and only a few are looking at the camera, but oh well. At least we are all there!

I love that red, yellow and green together.

The mountainside in the last remaining sunlight.

And I loved the sun blazing behind this bright tree. Of course it was even more impressive in real life.

Anyway - so it's autumn in the mountains. The leaves down here in the valley are drying and dying, but not really changing colors yet.

The temps are still in the 80's this week, until on Wed. they are supposed to dip into the 50's and snow in the mountains. And then, I suppose fall might be practically over. See? I told you - fall is too short here.
But I guess I'll take what I can get.
(and does anybody know where I can buy paraffin wax? Walmart doesn't have it) :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Books for Ashley {Reposted}

Since Ashley won my little newspaper game awhile ago, she got to pick a blog post topic and she wanted a list of my favorite books, or books she might like, or something like that. :)

So I thought I would give you the list that I compiled for the spiel I gave at our Relief Society meeting on the importance of books. Like I said there, though, I am sort of reluctant to give book recommendations. I feel like favorite books are kind of like favorite jeans - the style, size, fit, etc. are unique to the individual and what works for one person really might not work for someone else.

But, given that caveat, here are some of my favorite books that came to my head when I made the list (by no means comprehensive). Most of them are books I've read in more recent years, although not all are. So if you haven't read some of these, I'd say give them a try. You just might like it (or not).

And Ashley, if you have read all the books on this list, then get back to me and I'll rack my brain a little more for you. :)

Here goes (in no particular order):

1. I capture the Castle - Dodie Smith
2. The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield
3. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
4. A tree grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith
5. Peace Like a River - Leif Enger
6. Kitchen Table Wisdom - Rachel Naomi Remen
7. Reading Lolita in Tehran - Azar Nafisi
8. The book thief - Markus Zusak
9. Goodnight, Mr. Tom - Michelle Magorian
10. A circle of quiet - Madeleine L'Engle
11. Life on the Refrigerator Door - Alice Kupers
12. Tess of the D'Ubervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. The Bridge Across Forever - Richard Bach
14. Walden - Thoreau
15. Lust for Life - Irving Stone
16. The Twenty-One Balloons - William Pene Du Bois
17. Spilling Clarence - Anne Ursu
18. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek - Annie Dillard
19. The man who mistook his wife for a hat - Oliver Sacks
20. books by Robert Fulghum
21. Jacob have I loved - Katherine Paterson
22. Our Town - Thornton Wilder
23. The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver
24. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
25. My name is Asher Lev - Chaim Potok

(anybody really like or dislike any books on this list? what books would you recommend as "must-reads"?)

Monday, September 14, 2009

another post I probably shouldn't write - but will anyway {reposting}

Time to vent. Ready?? On your mark . . . get set . . . go!

1. We bought Elisabeth her potty-training toy on Sat - and then she proceeded to have 4 accidents that day. After a week of no accidents at all. Of course.

2. Fall is always when I get the strongest longings to live elsewhere. Trees, trees, where art thou?!? I've been struggling again with these deep desires of my heart and balancing the whole "bloom where you're planted" idea. Balancing following your dreams with being content with what is. And then balancing the "me me me" and what I want, with the "what's really best for my family." Suggestions, anyone? Has anyone else struggled with these ideas?

3. My ankle still hurts. I thought it was getting considerably better. And I guess it is. If I don't move. I went shopping on Sat., walked around the store for about an hr. and my ankle ached badly the rest of the day. I am so discouraged by it. I feel like I haven't been able to really adjust and get into a good routine with the kids in school, because I can't exercise (which has been a vital part of my routine) and I can't do much housework either. I am floundering. And I hate it. And I decided I can't afford the $20 copay each time to continue going to physical therapy, so I cancelled my last appt. Frustrating.

4. We have a mouse problem. It's freaking me out. I shudder every time I brush against something soft on the floor. And it's repulsive to me that a mouse could have been scurrying across every surface in the house. SO DISGUSTING!!! It's making me jumpy and nauseous. We've set traps, but they don't seem to be working very well. And we've put out some poison, but the idea of a mouse crawling in some hole and dying there in my house is almost worse than the thought of live ones. We think the bunny and all it's tasty food and hay may have been contributing. And we sealed up some possible entrances into the basement. And then, I can't help but think that maybe if my house were a little cleaner, maybe we wouldn't be having this problem. Which grosses me out. And makes me feel guilty. And I want to go out and buy airtight containers for every single food item in my pantry (but I can't afford to do that). And we've been having a hard time getting to sleep at night because every little creak or bump makes us think there are mice out and about!!! ARGH!!! (I hope you all aren't totally disgusted by us now - I promise we are trying to take care of the problem. Anyone want to let us borrow a cat for a day or 2?)

5. Yesterday was a hard day at church. Samuel was being crazy. We chased him around the whole time and then they were doing practice for the Primary program, so they stayed in the chapel instead of going to the Primary room. This meant, of course, that Samuel would not stay by himself (because everything was different and chaotic). So I was just worn out to begin with. And then they were giving out the parts for the kids. Samuel's teacher was lining them up in the order of their parts (for the little kids they pass along a mike along the row and each of them say a little line). But they didn't give a part to Samuel. I asked his teacher, does Samuel have a part? And she said no . . . and asked if I wanted him to have one. Well, I knew that he would not talk into the mike to begin with, and no one would understand him even if he did . . . but I couldn't help but ask, is he the only one who doesn't have a part? And she said she didn't think so, she checked her list, and the only other kid who didn't have a part was one who never comes to church. And then I lost it completely. I had a complete breakdown. In the church. With Samuel's teacher, all the kids, and the other primary leaders probably looking on. It became impossible for me to compose myself so I took Samuel and left. I wanted to go outside, so as to not have anyone else see me, and I didn't have the car keys. But - it was windy outside, and Samuel freaked out, so I brought him back in and sat in the lobby. I don't really know what went on in the chapel after I left, but after a few minutes, the Primary secretary came out and said that they were going to have Samuel say a part together with another little boy in his class. But I was already too far gone to be able to recover, so I ended up interrupting Zac's nursery class to get the keys and I took Samuel home. I do understand why they wouldn't give him a part to say. Realistically, he probably would not be willing to do it anyhow. But I couldn't even say for sure what was upsetting me more. The fact that they had excluded him. Or the fact that I knew they had good reason to. It was just really really hard. That's all.

6. And Elisabeth has been really difficult ever since the kids started school. Huge screaming and shrieking temper tantrums. Aren't we done with this yet?!?? This morning Elisabeth went in Samuel's room and he yelled at her and she cried. Then a couple minutes later, Samuel was trying to come into Elisabeth's room, and she shut the door in his face, and he cried. There's been a lot of fighting and crying going on. And it seems both Zac and I are often at the end of our ropes. Neither of us have enough patience or energy to deal with it all. So we are unable to help and support each other or give each other a break, because both of us have already reached our breaking points. It's kind of a problem.

Anyway - so I had a kind of rough weekend. And remember the back to school seminar thing I mentioned before? Yeah, I can't do it. Wish I could. But it's just too overwhelming. Just so you know.

Alright, I'm done now. Thanks for listening.
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