Thursday, May 29, 2008

Good old Provo! :)

I just read an article about Kiplinger's "Great Places to Live, Work, and Play" with Provo on the Top 10 list. 

"It's hard to argue down a city with so many great things going for it," said Kiplinger's Senior Editor Bob Frick. "I would kind of put it in that category of places that people don't naturally think about as being very intellectual and vibrant, but they are. In addition to that, you have the whole natural beauty, clean living kind of thing...It's kind of always on our radar," Frick said. "We recognize it for being pristine and high tech."

Fun to read. :)

Just Super Cute

Tonight, we were all playing outside in the backyard enjoying the beautiful Spring coolness. Jordan was jump-roping and Landon wanted to join in --- he found a little strap, about a foot long, and started jumping up and down and all around, while holding on to the strap w/ both hands and swinging it in circles with all his might -- just like Daddy! :)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Could there be a happier boy than this?

Playing around in the car, with Uncle Nathan and Uncle Drew,  and Aunt April, and Daddy -- that's a lucky boy

April came down from Logan to spend Memorial Day weekend with us.  We had fun playing some games, working in the yard a bunch, taking a tree-tour at BYU w/ April as our expert guide,  and just hanging out a bit too.  :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Boys love dirt!

One of Landon's favorite things to do outside is relocate the dirt from one part of our yard to another. Maybe because all he ever sees us do is working in the yard, pulling things out from here and putting them over there... He's very systematic about it though - and he always has a very specific place where each little pile needs to go! :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sparkling Clean!

Last week, my visiting teacher stopped by just after I had finished cleaning and before Landon had had a chance to make much of a mess. She said, "You're house is so sparkling clean! How do you do it?"
That's the best compliment I've gotten in a long time! (Even though I knew that if she looked a little closer, she might say something a bit different... :)
It always seems like company stops by on the days when I haven't cleaned anything and Landon has spread all of his toys around the whole house and the dishes are piled up... so nice to have someone come by and see it at its best for once! :)

Friday, May 16, 2008

A Brillilant Discovery!

I have just discovered chords on the piano and what fun you can have with them! I've played the piano since I was young - first by ear, and then finally learned to read music around junior high time. But, having never taken piano, I've never really learned much about music theory and all that - including chords. Now that I am teaching though, I've been teaching this stuff to my students (which is new to me!) and just realized how fun it is! 

Today I got out my guitar book and just played around on the piano making up the accompaniment to some of my favorite songs using the guitar tab I have. And it was great! I feel like I've just opened up a million new possibilities in playing the piano! :)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

When I visited my sister's ward in Arizona, they were talking about being your best self and someone raised a question that I liked, "What things do I do that make me glad to be me?" So, in honor of Mother's Day, and in thinking about how to be a better mom, what things do I do that make me glad to be a mom?
I'm glad to be a mom...
- when I hug my little boy.
- when I stop doing something unimportant to go and play with Landon.
- when I express the gladness of being a mom.
- when I read stories with my little boy.
- when I put Landon down for his nap. We read scripture stories, sing a song, and then I sit by his side and read scriptures myself for a few minutes while he falls asleep.
- when I see Landon learning from things I have tried to teach him.
- when I see the excitement of my son in discovery!
- when I see my little boy has friends.
- when our home is clean, or not at all disastrous at least. :)
- when I am playing with my little boy.
- when I make healthy food for my family to eat.
- when I go for a walk with my little boy.
- when I get to show Landon things that make him so excited - the river, ducks, rocks, the moon, water meters (he finds these on his own though...) dogs, cats, etc.
- when I see all the people who love my little boy.

I guess, I'm pretty much just glad to be a mom! :) Though I know I could make a list of the moments I'm not so glad (food flinging, flopping on the floor tantrum fits, waking up in the night for almost 2 years now... :) But, I sure love little Landon and this time of my life that I get to be a mother!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Just Some Interesting News

NewsWeek did an article a few days ago about the disproportionate number of Mormons winning Reality TV shows. :) I've never seen any of the shows they were talking about, but it was still an interesting article, because for the most part it was pretty positive towards the church. Here's a couple things I liked -- 

"But Mormons don't do well only on shows where the audience votes. "There must be something about the Mormon community that makes these people so self-confident and so open," says Lynne Spillman, a casting director for "Survivor" and "The Amazing Race." She thinks that coming from a large family probably helps in a game like "Survivor," with its complicated group dynamics mirroring sibling rivalries. "They also have these incredible experiences through their missions," she says, "and can relate to being dropped off in the middle of somewhere they've never been and having to make it."

"Some tension may still exist between the Mormon community and mainstream America. But considering that not too long ago Mormons were a small, persecuted band, it's remarkable that America may be poised to crown a Mormon as its new Idol."

Also, I just read an article about a new dress code at the junior high school I attended. Starting this coming year, students must wear a collared shirt each day. No t-shirts, no logos or emblems, no sweats or pj pants, and shorts and skirts must be knee-length. Seems pretty great!  This school seemed a bit ghetto when I was there, and then as a teacher in the district, I saw that it had become much more so. Cool to see the principal and parents trying to do something to make things nicer there. :)

Monday, May 5, 2008


After celebrating graduation with Jenny and Drew, I've been thinking about my fun college years. I still love to go up to campus because their is such a feeling of excitement there with all the students at such a place in their lives where they are seeking out learning and personal growth so vigorously. I'm so grateful for my education at BYU and for so many of my teachers who were really passionate about what they taught. In thinking of my favorite classes, many were not necessarily my favorite subject, but the teachers presented the material in such a great way. So, here's my top 10 favorite BYU classes (in no particular order):
1. Family Law
2. English 315 (writing for social sciences)
3. University Chorale 
4. Intro. to Seminary Teaching
5. Mediation 
6.  Interior Design
7.  Tap Dance
8. Humanities 201 & 202 (arts in western civilization)
9. Doctrines of the Gospel
10. Children's Literature

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sharing the Gospel

We read a great speech today that Elder Ballard gave recently at the BYU Management Society in Washington D.C. Here's a little part of it, and you can link to the complete article here. In his role with public affairs for the church, he has really encouraged church members to reach out and help others understand more accurately what the church is about and what it means to us in our daily lives. 

Share your experiences – those from your own life – that show how your values and your faith intersect. It doesn’t matter whether that’s face to face with another person, or whether you do it by participating from your own blog or contributing to someone else’s blog. The most important thing is that you let people know that you are a Latter-day Saint, and that your behavior and attitude always reflect the high standards of the Church and what is expected as a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ...

...allow people to see how your beliefs lift and shape your life for the better. How does the gospel help you as a parent engage with your teens? How do your values encourage you to participate in civic affairs? How has your experience as a home or visiting teacher enlarged your compassion or care for the sick and needy? How has your Church life helped you to avoid such things as pornography and immorality? How have family councils or home evenings helped you resolve differences of opinion with members of your family? How has your experience in speaking in church helped you address large public groups? Where did you learn to respect and not to criticize other faiths? And so on. 

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Morning? Morning?

Every night when I tuck Landon in to bed, we talk about 'the rules of the car bed' -- "stay in your bed, go to sleep all by your big self, and don't get up. Stay in your bed all the way till morning." 
So tonight, Landon was having another night where we had to put him back to bed again and again. Frustrated, I had Jordan come up to take a turn. As soon as Jordan picked him up, Landon just looked at him, sweetly asking, "Morning? Morning? Morning?

Oh, he's a sweet boy! :)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Love Love Love

Congratulations to Jennifer Hainsworth Richins! (This is Jenn and my good friend Laura.) Jenny and I traveled down to Arizona for the weekend to attend Jenn's wedding and all the festivities and such. It was so fun to be there and so sweet to see the way Jenn's new husband just adored her. :) It was also great to spend some time with my sister and with Laura. The flight and all were so amazingly smooth without Landon along to keep constantly entertained! I definitely missed him, but traveling was definitely a simpler ordeal. 
This was the first time that I left Landon alone overnight and though I did have to call every couple of hours... everyone did fine! Thankfully, Kathy, Winslow and Nathan were all around to help Jordan out with our little guy. :) And, while I was gone, they even put in the flooring for the guest room. (Nathan's bedroom now for the summer!) 

So, now I'm happily home (but not yet quite unpacked) and Nathan is all moved in (also not quite unpacked, but his room is a beautiful blue with great wood flooring!) And, Kathie and Winslow are getting ready to head back to California tomorrow, too. We've had a super busy few weeks and have just loved having the company here. But, I guess it's finally time to get back to normal life again! :)