NOTES FROM THE BURROW

NOTES FROM THE BURROW

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Hey, I dare you to throw your sandwich at the bus driver.

Pictoral Report of Christopher's Field Trip to Michigan State Capitol and History Museum.

Left Smith School at 9:00am and rode to Lansing on a charter bus.

Christopher on bus.

Arrived at the Michigan State Capitol building at 10:30. The Michigan State Capitol is a National Historic Landmark and only one of 11 other state capitols on that list. It was completed in 1879 and is beautiful inside with extensive and ornate artwork. Some of the flooring is made out of glass. When you walk under or over it, you can see shadows of people on the otherside.

Glass floor from underneath.
Glass floor from above.

Beautiful carpet in the capitol.

Interesting artwork in the capitol.
Laying on the ground and looking up into the dome.
Flags flown and carried during the Civil War.
Gerald Ford was ravaged by wolves today...
The glass floor from above.
The government in Lansing might not be perfect but they know which team to root for!

I enjoyed our tour of the state capitol. The tour guide was funny and related well with our 4th graders and was an expert on everything Michigan State Capitol. I love the state capitol because it is where I first felt the flutterings of love for my husband. We went there for something fun to do in our pre-dating stage. We walked around and looked at everything and then we got to the governor's office. This was pre-911 so all the doors were open and he walked right in to the governor's office and said he was Chris Vos from Plymouth, MI and was the governor in. The governor was not in and I don't know what would have happened if he had been but I fell in love with that boldness of Chris'. I loved that he wasn't afraid to go in there and ask for the governor. He is the same today, often fighting my battles for me when I am too afraid. I love him for that. Anyway...on with the tour.

We then took the bus over to the Michigan Historical Museum.


Some of Michigan's first inhabitants. Very cool exhibit that shows the native inhabitants of our state and also the explorers from Europe who "discovered" Michigan.

Huge wall sculpture of Michigan.
Diorama that has grass in front and back is mural but looks real.
Very interesting Civil War exhibit. Over 90,000 men from the state of Michigan fought in the Civil War and 14,753 gave their lives for the cause. Michigan was an important stop on the Underground Railroad. The above picture is of actual flowers sent from State of Michigan displayed on President Lincoln's casket.

Christopher in front of the sawmill display. In addition to a very interesting lumber display, there was also a copper and iron mine display.

The final display that we saw was Michigan in the 1900s, highlighting the automobile industry and it's impact upon our state. There was a large picture of R.E.Olds, the founder of Olds Motor Works and for whom the brand "Oldsmobile," is named for. It reminded me that my uncle has an old REO car that belongs to my sister and I need to reread "The Peacegiver."
This advertisement for Grape-Nuts cereal says "Children Fatten like Little Round White Pigs when fed on cream and Grape-Nuts." Thought it was funny. Anyone would fatten like a pig eating cream.
These dishes were on display as items you could get from a Green Stamps Catalog. We had these dishes growing up and I wish I knew where they were. They were pretty neat.

It was a fun field trip and I'm really glad that I got to go. Michigan is a state full of interesting history and I'm proud to be a citizen.

Thankful Thursday 01/31/2008

1. Plymouth Ward Cookbooks

2. Impending Snowstorms

3. American Girl Magazine

4. Crossword Puzzles

5. Jane Austen

Monday, January 28, 2008

Weekly Top Five 01/28/2008


Top Five Favorite 80s TV Shows

1. Cheers

2. Family Ties

3. The Cosby Show

4. The Love Boat

5. Who's the Boss

Saturday, January 26, 2008

He did WHAT in his cup?

The sight of the little black box every year makes me shudder a little. "Cub Scout Grand Prix Pinewood Derby Kit." Oh no, not again, I think, another Pinewood Derby. I don't love the Pinewood Derby for several reasons. First of all, no one in our house is engineeringly inclined. Designing a winning car is not a Vos strong point. Marketing the car, buying a winning car on eBay, writing a story about the car; all of these we could do very well. Designing the car, not so much. Second of all, does the scout in the house actually "REALLY" make the car? I wish I could say, yes he does; he does it all. But in reality, at our house, he helps. Mom and Dad do the car. Actually, the first year he was in scouts Mom did the nagging, Uncle Tony did the designing and Dad did the painting. Last year, Mom did the nagging and Dad did the rest. This year, Mom started out nagging but ended up doing some finishing and painting and Dad did the rest. Christopher helps sand, does some painting, chooses the theme and colors, helps put on the weights, etc... The first two years, we had losing cars. They were slower than slow. We didn't know much about weights and pins and sanding the burrs and dry graphite. This year we did some investigating. Chris watched a video on youTube about how to make a winning car. I sought the advice of a local hardware man and we got some very helpful input from a former home teacher. This year we took off a lot of the wood and made a very thin car and then at the advice of Bro. Dalebout, we put as much weight as we could near the rear axle. We got the pins ground and polished by Christopher's Grammy's jeweler. All of our hard work this year paid off because Christopher's car, #59 "The Boss" came in 3rd in his den. The attendance at the derby this year included all three wards that meet at our building, so 3rd was nothing to sneeze at. He was pretty excited and we were too. Chris and I were just praying that his car wouldn't be last. It was gratifying to see his happy face at the end of the night.

I was just going to type these words, "Thankfully we only have two more years of derbys," when I realized that I have 3 more sons to be scouts. So technically I guess at the minimum, we have 17 more derby cars to make. This doesn't even include any other sons we might have in the future. 17 more cars. The thought makes me shudder.
video

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Me. I can definitely lose it. My mother...a nut. My grandfather...stories about him are legendary.

I come from a long line of major overreactors. My grandmother didn't like the woman my uncle was marrying so her reaction was to not attend the wedding. Her son's own wedding. Once, my dad didn't like the TV show my sister was watching so he cut the power cord to the television set. I promise that I am not kidding. He just cut it right in two. He might have considered grounding her from the television, maybe discussing why he felt the show was inappropriate. But not my dad. He ended up having to use electrical tape to splice the cord back together. Good as new.

I've got some doozies of my own. I was in a bad mood one day and was cleaning the boys room. This job always puts me in a horrible mood because I find all kinds of disgusting things in there. On top of their dresser was a 5 gallon fish tank with 4 or 5 goldfish that they won at a carnival. I looked at the dirty fish tank and had just had it. I hefted the fish tank outside and threw it away. Fish and all. A little bit of overreacting, I would say.

Christopher got a Darth Vader alarm clock for his birthday and it was the stupidest clock ever because there was no way to set the alarm nor turn the alarm off without taking out the batteries. The alarm clock would go off at all hours of the day and night. It drove me crazy! I warned him to take the batteries out. One day, we're driving in the car and the alarm clock goes off. It was in my little "glove box bin" or whatever that thing in the middle of the car that holds stuff is called. It was going off...beeep....beeep....beeep....beeep. I'd had enough. I opened the window and out when the alarm clock right into the intersection of Ann Arbor Road and Sheldon. Overreact much?

I was reminded of all this today because I had a similar overreaction urge this morning. When everyone started getting ready, I could smell a smelly smell that smelled smelly. I searched the house for the source. I smelled the boys. I checked the toilets for maybe an unflushed turd. I smelled the bottom of shoes and the bottom of the dog. I just couldn't find the smelly smell. Let me clarify that I am no stranger to smelly smells. My babies have the smelliest poopy diapers known to man. They make even me gag. Our dog had a terrible problem with her anal glands. If you know anything about the smell of a dog's anal glands, you know that I am the master of handling smelly smells. So I found myself stumped this morning as to the origin of the smell. I loaded the dishes into our FIXED dishwasher (!) and opened the cupboard under the sink for the dishwasher soap and wowwie! there was the smell. Under the sink, it was smelly and wet and covered with ground up food bits. Somehow the pipe that fits into the garbage disposal had come undone but no one noticed. It was disgusting. I pulled everything out and cleaned out the mess under there and was ready to fix the pipe when the boys screamed for breakfast. So I served them cereal and popped bread in the toaster to toast. I got back under the sink and was messing with the pipe, trying to figure out how to fix it when I started to smell a new smell. A burning toast smell. Smoke was billowing from the toaster and there were 4 burned lumps of bread in there. AAAAHHHH! I already hate our toaster because it is really cheap and doesn't do a very good job of toasting. I figured it was finally completely on the fritz and I was so frustrated I almost pulled the toaster off the counter and threw it in the trash. However, I stopped myself, regained my composure and fixed the pipe. Once the pipe was fixed, I looked at the toaster. Someone had switched the setting from the lightest to the darkest. The toaster wasn't broken and I'm glad I didn't overreact and throw it away.

It was such a crazy morning. I'm glad they aren't all like this.

Thankful Thursday 01/24/2008


1. Dishwasher repairman

2. Broken oven door repairman

3. "Carpoolers"

4. Sister Missionaries

5. Scrabulous

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Catch Me If You Can!


I couldn't find Cameron for a few minutes today. I looked and looked for him. Then I heard some giggling from under a laundry basket. There he was looking soooo cute! I just had to share some pictures.




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Tell me now how do I feel

Yesterday, January 21, was supposed to be the most depressing day of the year. A doctor from Wales came up with some kind of formula that determined that yesterday was depressing. It was based on the fact that the weather in January is crappy, bills for Christmas presents would be coming in and most everyone has failed their New Year's resolutions by now. According to Dr. Cliff Arnall, all these factors were supposed to make yesterday, "Blue Monday." You can read more about this here.

I have been feeling blue the past few days, but it has nothing do with with the factors Dr. Arnall says should be affecting my mood. I love crappy weather. In fact, rainy days are my most favorite and I can tolerate them for weeks on end. "Come on! You call this a storm? Blow, you *bleep bleep*, blow! It's time for a showdown! You and me! I'm right here! Come and get me! Ha ha! Ha ha! You'll never sink... this... boat! Ha ha ha ha!" I don't have any bills from Christmas because I didn't have any money to spend anyway. And my New Year's goals are proceeding. I haven't failed any of them yet.

So why am I feeling blue? I feel blue because I gave the worst lesson in Relief Society on Sunday in the history of Relief Society lessons. I prepared. I really did. The lesson was #2 from the "Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith" manual, entitled "God the Eternal Father." I divided the information into several sections: God is our father, the character of God, the Godhead and teaching our children to love God. I read and studied the lesson material, I read complementary articles written by credible GAs and I researched the origin of the idea of the trinity held as truth by most Christian religions. I started out by letting everyone know how hard I struggled with the material. After I said that I felt really stupid and even worried that maybe they thought I didn't have a testimony of Joseph Smith, which I certainly do. As I was teaching, I felt like I was fumbling along. Even though I had written out my information, the words weren't flowing like I wanted them to. Then when I started teaching about the Godhead vs. the trinity and I was asked questions about scriptures from the Book of Mormon that state that Jesus is the Father and how can this be, I felt like I was drowning. I didn't know what to say and I wished that the floor would open up underneath my feet and swallow me whole. I botched my way through to the end of the lesson and didn't even bear my testimony in a heartfelt way. I wasn't prepared for anyone to not understand my answer of: "They are one in purpose."

After I closed the lesson, I wanted to run from the room and make a beeline right for the car but I waited until after the closing prayer to round up my family and head out. It was the first time I've ever left church feeling like I couldn't get away fast enough. I failed that day in my capacity as RS teacher. There was no denying it.

It's been 2 days since I gave the lesson and I still can't shake this feeling of failure. I can see myself up in front of the classroom stumbling for words and looking like an idiot. I'm looking out seeing sisters such as the Bishop's wife, a Bishop's counselor's wife, the Stake President's wife, the former Stake President's wife, the Stake RS President and Secretary(who is also a Stake President's counselor's wife), the Ward RS Presidency, a former Stake President's counselor's wife and many other faces of
knowledgeable
sisters from our ward. I looked like an unprepared dummy in front of all of them. Not only that, but I looked that way trying to convey the Lord's message for them. I really let Him down.

Sunday night, I read several scriptures from Mosiah 15, trying to find an answer to the sister's question during class. Why didn't I open my scriptures right there on the spot on Sunday? I would have been able to answer her question. Mosiah 15:2-5 was what she was questioning.


2 And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son—
3 The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son—
4 And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth.
5 And thus the flesh becoming subject to the Spirit, or the Son to the Father, being one God, suffereth temptation, and yieldeth not to the temptation, but suffereth himself to be mocked, and scourged, and cast out, and disowned by his people


I agree that these scriptures can be confusing. However, RIGHT ON THE BOTTOM OF MY PAGE, I had written some notes to clarify the confusion. I wrote that God transmitted to His Son many of His own godly powers and qualities. I also found a quote that I tucked in there by Joseph Fielding Smith that says:

“If we speak of Jesus Christ as being our Father, we are not making any mistake because, spiritually, he begot us. No question about it—he united spirit and body, providing a resurrection for every living thing. We do not make any mistake in speaking of the Savior as our God, as our Father, and also as the Son of God because he received all authority. Jesus declared the Father conferred all authority upon him, and so he becomes to us a Father. Moreover, he begot us spiritually in the resurrection. . . .

“. . . We are his sons and daughters. He is a Father to us because he begot us and saved us from death, uniting spirit and body. What is a father but one who gives life?”

So I could have read this quote and probably totally answered her question and saved myself from looking like the biggest moron in the Plymouth Ward. Next month, I teach a lesson entitled, "The Book of Mormon: Keystone of our Religion." The information again looks formidable and I am feeling totally unqualified. I know the answer to this problem. Pray for guidance and help. I know it will come. I knowHeavenly Father doesn't want me to fail. However, for the first time in my life, I am holding a calling in which I don't feel equal to the task. What happened to the Relief Society manuals that my mom got to teach out of with lessons like: "Disease Prevention" and "Chastity and Modesty." I'm sure those were easier to teach than the ones I supposed to present. Not only that, but the other teacher is SUPERB. I just feel like a clown compared to her. I wish I could just run away and not have to teach again, but I know that is impossible. So, I will prepare harder this month and spend more time in prayer trying to find what the Lord desires I share with my sisters. Either that or I am installing a trap door in the RS room and pushing the button when I need a quick way out.



Monday, January 21, 2008

Weekly Top Five 1/21/2008

Top Five Favorite Teachers

1. Mr. Scott Robertson--Taught me history for two years at St. Ursula. He was an incredible teacher. He knew his subject, he liked adolescents and working with us and you left his class actually enjoying history. He didn't start out as a teacher but worked somewhere else, went back to school and got his degree later in life. Mr. Robertson died my junior year of a heart attack. Everyone in our class was devastated. He was irreplaceable.

2. Mrs. Jane McGee--Also had Mrs. McGee in high school. I started out with her in sophomore Religion and gave her such a hard time. She was a little aloof at first and I had a hard time getting to know her. Finally, towards the end of the year, I really started enjoying her as a teacher and as a person. She had several of us over to her house and cooked us dinner. I remember it being really fun. My junior year, I couldn't fit the Latin class that I needed into my schedule, and she offered to teach me before school, on her own time. I came in early and had a one-on-one class with her. I think back now and I am amazed at that kind of dedication to a student.

3. Miss Heuring, now Mrs. Rodgers--I had Miss Heuring for the 4th grade. She was pretty and nice. I wanted to be just like her. She was great especially coming off Mrs. Molly Mott in the 3rd grade who was the meanest teacher EVER.

4. Sister Mary Caroline--Sister Caroline taught 8th grade math. She was a nun and old and mean but had a fun streak in her and somehow I was able to get on her good side and we really hit it off. Because of her, I was able to get my scholarship to St. Ursula.

5. Mr. Roy Williamson--I had Mr. Williamson for junior American Literature. He was a bit eccentric (gay) and spoke with a very interesting accent (gay), but he was mesmerizing to listen to. Most everything I learned about writing, I learned from him. I'll never forget his recitation of Edgar Allen Poe's, "The Bells."

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Oh, it's Risk. It's a game of world domination, being played by two guys that can barely run their own lives.

Last night we had "Game Night" with the Heiners. As usual, it was fun beyond belief. As usual, we ate our weight in snacks and desserts. As usual, we laughed until more than one of us had to make a mad dash to the bathroom . As usual, the women kicked butt in the games. As usual, the men acted like it was their plan all along to let us win. As usual, the kids played great with each other. As usual, we stayed up late and talked and laughed. As usual, it was the most fun we've had in a long time. As usual, I went to bed thankful that my friend Jodi doesn't live in Howell or Brighton or Boston.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

You should see the toast...I couldn't even get it through the door.



Yesterday, at Spencer's preschool they celebrated his 1/2 birthday. This was extremely confusing to him. He knows it's not is real birthday but this 'nother birthday, as he called it, was very appealing. He wondered all day, "Do I get presents?" "Do I get cake?" "Will there be a party?" It was very hard for him to understand that it is 1/2 way to his real birthday and since his real birthday is in the summer, his school is celebrating for him now. These complicated concepts are lost on 4-year-olds. Ahem...4 1/2.

He still had fun taking treats to school, getting a birthday badge from Mrs. Lloyd and getting cards from his classmates. He slept with the cards last night and loves to show them to everyone. I had an enjoyable time helping at school. It was a fun day to play with magnetic dress up dolls, fake snow and make snowflakes. That fake snow creeps me out a little. What is it made of? Who knows? It might be the same stuff as the Happy Fun Ball for all we know. I also loved meeting Henrietta's doll. It was adorable to see a little mini Henrietta. I hope she gets a name soon.

Happy 1/2 Birthday, Spencer!!

These two will never live this down. They were playing with DOLLS!!!!!!!!


Spencer and Mrs. Lloyd, best preschool teacher ever.



Thankful Thursday 01/17/2008

1. The return of American Idol

2. Tiny Henrietta

3. Giant Muffins

4. Dr. Michael Reich, DDS

5. Cheaper prescriptions at WalMart

Monday, January 14, 2008

You're a rabid anti-dentite

Part of one of my molars broke off last week. It is the result of many years of not having existing cavaties filled. Partly, I didn't go to the dentist in many years because I didn't want to hear him yell at me for not going to the dentist for many years. Partly, I didn't go because I was scared. So when I saw the gaping hole in the back of my mouth, I knew I could put it off no longer. I had no idea where to go since I haven't been to the dentist since we moved here 7 years ago, so family suggested Dr. Michael Reich (pronounced "rich") in Garden City. I am glad that I took their suggestion.

Dr. Reich was so nice to me. His staff was all friendly and talkative. I found out that he just took all of them to a trip to Las Vegas. The entire staff. Any guy who takes his office on vacation can't be bad. He was gentle and considerate and funny. I had to have a root canal and it didn't hurt horribly bad. Actually, the Novocaine hasn't worn off yet, so it didn't hurt at all. Yet.

For anyone looking for a great dentist, go see Dr. Reich in Garden City. I know it's a bit further than Plymouth or Canton, but he's on the corner of Warren and Venoy. It only took me 15 minutes. It was definitely worth the extra drive.

Weekly Top Five 1/14/2008


Top Five Favorite Outfits I Have Worn in My Life

1. My prom dress from Senior Prom. Looking back at the picture, I realize that the style I chose made my hips look HUGE. What was I thinking?

2. Black Girbaud jeans with this black shirt I wore dancing to "The Palace," in Provo. Is The Palace still there? My roommates assured me that my butt looked totally hot in those jeans.

3. My wedding dress.

4. This pair of plaid shorts and shirt from the Gap that I bought in 1992. They were totally cool and I loved them.

5. One piece, jumper maternity outfit that I had when I was pregnant with Emily. It was so cute! I loved wearing it.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

So kiss me and smile for me

On the way home from church today, Emily pointed out to me that the date for Summer Girls Camp was on the church bulletin for future planning. She is very excited about the fact that she gets to go to camp this next summer. We were discussing it as a family and talking about how we don't know what we will do without her for an entire week. After a few minutes, Spencer burst into tears. It took several minutes of him sobbing uncontrollably before we could get out of him what was the matter. He looked at me with eyes full of tears and weeped, "I don't want Emily to go for a whole week. I'll miss her." I had seen similar eyes once before almost 15 years ago in the wee hours of the morning of August 1, 1993. This was the morning that I loaded up my little grey Chevette and headed to Utah to attend college. The eyes that were full of tears were Anna's. It was heartbreaking to leave her that day and I remember crying my way through several states.

I don't know if my father was really wise or really stupid for letting me drive myself to Utah from Ohio at age 18. I know that I wouldn't let my daughter do it in a million years. However, he let me exert some independence and because of that experience, I learned a great deal. I learned that I am not a follower of the crowd. I learned that I love my home and my family more than anything in the whole world. I learned that BYU isn't the only place on the earth for strong, happy, faithful LDS people to be after high school. I don't think I would have learned these lessons in any other way than doing what I did that August morning.

For some reason, I have been thinking a lot lately about leaving home and having children leave home. This experience that Emily will have this summer of going to Girls Camp and being independent of her family is the first of many that will come to her over the next few years. Before we know it, she will be 18 and heading out to the college of her choice (as long as it is MSU). I know it is 6 years away, but it is going to fly by. When she was born, my dad said something very wise. He was holding her in his arms, his first grandchild, and he looked at me and said, "In what will feel like 2 weeks, she will be driving." I laughed then and thought there was no way that that was true. However, I sit here almost 12 years after he said it and I know it is true. It feels like yesterday that she was born and tomorrow she will leave.

As I think about all these things, I wonder if I am feeling a small part of what Heavenly Father feels when He sends us to this earth and we leave Him for a little season. We come to this earth to exert our independence and try out new things. He hopes we will choose the right path and return home again one day. I picture Him releasing us to our new experience knowing that mortality is such a short time and knowing that we are going to make mistakes but that we are going to return to Him having learned so many things that we could only learn from our turn on earth. I am thankful to Him for giving us this opportunity.

I remember the teary eyes that greeted me home on December 19, 1993. The joy that I had when I ran into my home in Toledo and embraced my father and my sister after being separated from them for those 4 months is indescribable. There were tears shed on this morning, but they were tears of happiness and joy. This reunion could only possibly be eclipsed by the reunion that we will have one day with our Father and our Savior after mortality. As our family begins to navigate new waters of children experiencing life in new ways independent from our family, I pray that we will adapt to this change. Though the parting might hurt for a moment and we will miss each other, we are sealed together forever. Thankfully, this eternal bridge connects us no matter where mortality may take us.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Best of Both Worlds

Last night I got to be 15 again! We got free tickets to the Hannah Montana at the Joe Louis Arena. Chris' radio rep from Radio Disney let him know early this week that she had 4 tickets for us. We told Emily and she was soooooooooo excited! She loves Hannah Montana, loves her music, watches the show, was even Hannah Montana for Halloween! I thought the seats would be ok...but probably towards the back since they were free. When I picked them up from Will Call and saw that they were 3rd row, I couldn't believe my eyes! Once we entered our section, we started the stairway down towards the center of the arena and just kept going almost to the floor to our seats. They were so awesome! Thank you, Susan!

The show opened with Aly and AJ performing. I was surprised how much I enjoyed their music. It was actually pretty good. Then we had Hannah and after Hannah it was Miley's turn. I loved so many things about the evening.
1. Being with Emily, Anna and Jodi. Awesome GNO! Love that Em thought we were cool enough to go with her.
2. That even though all the costumes weren't 100% modest, none were sleazy or sexy. There was nothing at all sexual in any of the numbers. I heard no swearing. It was absolutely family friendly.
3. Watching Emily and Anna dance together.
4. Watching Jodi laugh at all the crazy little girl fans.
5. Watching dad's dance along.
6. Hearing such loud screaming and enthusiasm. Must have been what it was like when the Beatles came to America.

It was really fun and I am so thankful for Susan Woolner being so generous and giving us this opportunity. Thanks!

Emily bought herself this Hannah Montana tote.


Emily and Anna
Me and Emily before the show


We were incredibly close to the stage!


Aly and AJ rockin' out!!

Best Day Ever!!



Jodi and I

Hannah


Miley



video
The screaming was soooooo loud!!

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia!


Chia Bart

We have a garden of Chia pets growing on our already minuscule kitchen counter. They started with Spencer asking for one from Santa and, as always, Santa delivered. He was delighted with his Chia Kitten and couldn't wait to plant the Chia seeds. All the other children were so enamoured with the Chia that they wanted their own. Luckily, Grammy heard their cries and also delivered. Calvin got a Chia Scooby, Christopher got a Chia Bart Simpson and Emily got Chia Donkey. They are all in various states of Chia sprouting. Enjoy the photos!



Chia Donkey


Calvin and Chia Scooby


Chia Kitten

The whole Chia family

An Inconvenient Thermometer

Al Gore might be right...global warming might not be a myth. Our outdoor thermometer has been registering some rather unusual readings for January and, actually, for Michigan. It started several days ago with a reading of 86. It gradually increased to 100. Today, we are at 131. Maybe I should dust off my summer crocs?

Movie Review


I saw a movie today! This makes two movies for me in the last month. I think it's some kind of a record because I don't think I saw two movies last YEAR. Today my friend, Jodi, took me to see "Juno." We sat in the theater and laughed and laughed. It was a hilarious movie! This movie was about a 16 year old girl who gets pregnant and decides to give the baby up for adoption. The girl, Juno, was played by Ellen Page and she delivered some really great lines that I am hoping I can remember forever. Her delivery was completely deadpan. I completely enjoyed her performance and can't wait to see her in future movies. I also loved her boyfriend, Bleeker, played by Michael Cera, whom I adored in "Arrested Development." The story was great and I left feeling happy but the movie also made me think a bit about what I would do if my daughter were in that situation. I'm glad the ending was happy. My favorite kind of movie is one where I leave feeling happy. I would recommend this movie to most anyone over 16 with a bit of reservation. If you think it is a sin to eat chocolate than I don't think this is the movie for you; it has some irreverent moments. There is no sex at all, no violence, some foul language and some irreverence. I give this movie 2 thumbs up. Thank you, Jodi, for taking me and for sharing nachos with me. Sorry I spilled cheese on your shoes!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thankful Thursday 1/10/2008

1. "Carpoolers"

2. Gift cards to restaurants

3. Free Hannah Montana concert tickets

4. Warm January weather

5. Aldi

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

He is interested in two things and two things only: making you afraid of it and telling you who's to blame for it.


I am having a crisis of my faith. Not my religious faith but my political faith. My political ideals have been very important to me for a long time. I had my first witness, if you will, on November 4, 1980, as I cheered Ronald Wilson Reagan to victory over Jimmy Carter. I vividly remember that night as I was allowed to stay up late with my parents and watch the election returns on our 20 inch, black and white TV. I took one look at Ronnie and I was hooked. I remained a staunch Republican throughout elementary school and kept track of electoral votes on November election evenings in 1984 and 1988. The year 1991 was very important to my political development as I fell in love twice that year. The first was with a man who believed in everything I did and thus I became a fervent Rush Limbaugh listener from the first moment I laid ears on him. The second happened in October when I discovered Senator Orrin Hatch during the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill Hearings. I was smitten from the beginning. As a junior in high school, most of the girls had photos of the "90210" hotties in their lockers. I had photos of Orrin Hatch in my locker and taped to my school notebooks. There was no more exciting moment to be had in my young life than the day the autographed photograph of him arrived for me in the mail along with a letter that he actually signed thanking me for my support. I carried them around with me for months and still have both in my possession. In 1992 when Clinton took over the White House, I was discouraged but still fervent in my political beliefs. Being one month away from 18 and too young to vote was heartbreaking. Especially, when my friends who could vote were all voting for Clinton. Traitors. I cast my first presidential vote in 1996 for Bob Dole, even though I knew he had no chance of winning. The 2000 election brought all my political fervor from simmering to boiling over. I was fixated with the election. I watched "The O'Reilly Factor" and "Hannity and Combs" like a fiend. I knew everything there was to know about ballots and hanging chads and the counties that made up the state of Florida. Our TV was rarely off Fox News for the entire month of November and into December until Al Gore conceded the election on December 13(my birthday) to President George W. Bush. Again in 2004, I cast my ballot for President Bush.

For months, the candidates for president in 2008 have been in the forefront of mainstream news. They are discussed ad nauseam on the radio and television. As I listen to speeches, read articles and take quizzes matching me with my perfect candidate, I have learned something very interesting about myself. I might not be a conservative Republican any more. *Gasp* I am definitely a social conservative. There are certain issues that are more important to me than others. Abortion, traditional marriage, and stem cell research are issues that I don't think I'll ever lean to the left on. I would have to say that the right of the unborn is my most important issue. I would have an extremely difficult time voting for someone who doesn't agree that all life from the moment of conception is sacred. I am also conservative when it comes to the war in Iraq, believing that we need to leave our troops there for the long haul. The leftward leanings that I have are when it comes to economics, the death penalty, health care, education and immigration. As I have grown and experienced life more, I find myself changing my opinions on these issues. So am I a liberal Republican or a conservative Democrat? The last thing I want to be is a moderate. What is happening to me? I still love listening to Rush but no longer can stand Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly and their self-important attitudes.

I don't like any of the candidates for president this year. You are saying to yourself, "Jennifer, but the Mormon...surely you must love the Mormon." The last thing I would ever do would be to vote based on someone's religious beliefs. Romney isn't getting a pass from me on his flip-flopping Abortion views just because he's a Mormon. None of the Democrats are pro-life and none of the Republicans match my other criteria. My true crisis of faith this November will come if I am forced to choose between two pro-choice candidates like Giuliani and Clinton or Obama. I have no idea what I will do then. I might just have to write in Orrin Hatch.
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