Saturday, January 29, 2011


I lost my camera again. I keep hoping it will show up--this isn't the first time it has been lost... It's hard enough to find something worthy of writing in January.  But to try to write without any pictures?

Here's a random account of the month.

Mornings here are dark and frosty.  By afternoon things are nice and squishy so the lovely dog can track his big muddy paws all over.  I guess I have an excuse for the unmopped floors.

I really should put up a picture of how big Baby Boy cinco and I are getting. 29 weeks now.  Benson calls him baby Jack.  Under what circumstances do you let your children pick your baby names?

We are busy with basketball season.  I am really really, glad Dallin and Landon are on the same team (the middle school has two teams).  I think one more set of games and practices might do me in.  Here was my driving schedule last Thursday...

0730-Take Dal and Lan to school. (Dal's bari saxophone won't fit on the bus)
0820 Take Jen and Ben to school (they missed the bus...someone please tell the bus driver to stop coming five minutes early.)
1130 Pick up kindergardners and drop all five extras off at their respective homes.
1530 Pick up Austin from school and drop off other car pool kids.
1630 Get Jenna out the door for violin. (thank heavens she can walk.)
1700 Get Austin out the door for piano lessons. (same teacher)
1715 Pick up Dallin and Landon from basketball practice.
1800 Find Benson and Austin's clothes and drive them to the other side of town for basketball practice.
1930 get home and realize that everyone is starving and there is nothing easy to eat.

That's just the driving.  Thankfully we live within 10 minutes of most things.

Benson slammed his thumb in the door and cut a big slice.  ouch.  It's healing well.

Most common phrase from Dallin and Landon lately--"I'm starving--we need more to eat around here."  They went through two jars of peanut butter this week.  Peanut butter should be fortified like cereal.  I need to get creative with some easy to eat snacks and dinners.

Or I might go insane.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Children are our future... and MLK Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. day will never be the same for me after living in Memphis.  Before we moved to Memphis I really thought that all the fuss over racism and the need for affirmative action was completely exaggerated.  Memphis corrected my thinking on that point in a hurry.

I still remember the time (working as an RN) I took a blood transfusion consent form to a patient.  She asked
"Y'all don't have any black blood right?"
My naive mind honestly thought she was asking about the color of the blood down in the lab.

Martin Luther King Jr. was killed in downtown Memphis.  It completely reshaped both the social and physical topography of the heart of the city. In the wake of the riots, the white folks packed up and moved to the suburbs.  The good peaceful black families who didn't care to live in turbulent areas soon followed which in turn created a rainbow of constant color changing neighborhoods.

Melvin and Evelyn Alexander were our surrogate grandparents {black} while we lived in Memphis.  They are about the same age as our parents.  They still call to check on us now and then and it makes me laugh to hear that distinct downtown Memphis accent on the answering machine.  They used to invite us over for Sunday dinner which always included fried chicken legs, mashed potatoes and spaghetti among other things.

One evening after dinner, Rustin and I had the chance to visit with Melvin about growing up in downtown Memphis.  He grew up right in the thick of all the political unrest of the 60's.  He talked to us about trying to make it home to be able to use the bathroom because there weren't any that were available for him to use while shopping.  The same for trying to find a place to get a drink.

Can you imagine being a mom and having to tell your thirsty toddler that he wasn't allowed to use a drinking fountain?

The thought certainly made me shudder and I asked Melvin "did it make you so sad to have to live like that?"
His reply was enlightening. Actually kind of shocking.

"I didn't think anything of it.  That's just how it was."

This man is my father's age.  We aren't talking about people who lived hundreds of years ago.  Had I been born in a different area these would have been my parents.

 That's when I realized that the wounds of racism go deeper than I ever suspected.  There are entire generations of people--our parents generation!--who had the desire to determine their own destiny squelched by the mind-numbing fogs of racism.

I think that's why Martin Luther King Jr. was so revolutionary.  His view point was new even to many of the black population.  At least it was new to Melvin and his friends.  The idea that black people and white people could live together and be equal.  Not in separate communities as many--both black and white--claimed to want.  For MLK jr.the spark of ingenuity and excellence and personal achievement stayed alive.  He could see through the fogs when most could not.

I don't know what it is going to take to heal the race divides.  I just read that Frayser High School (in our ward boundaries and near our old community) now has 86 un-wed pregnant teenage mothers.  86. Inequality was ingrained in both white and black communities for so long that I think it might take many generations to overcome.

It may take generations as it did for the children of Israel.

Back to the older patient in the hospital who didn't want to receive 'black blood.'

Her granddaughter was embarrassed by her grandmother's query.  I could see on her face that she wanted me to know that she herself didn't feel as her grandmother did.  I'll always remember both of them and it gives me hope that with patience, all will work out as it should.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Which "something" won yesterday?
Banana Bread.  Delicious.
And all is well.
This bread has kind of a crisp crust and it is very moist--unless it gets overcooked...

Here is my favorite recipe.

1c sugar
2c. flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp baking powder
mix all together

then add:
1/3 cup milk
1 stick melted butter
2 eggs (beaten)
2 smashed bananas
and to be extra healthy--
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips.

bake at 325 for about an hour. check at 50 minutes.
2 medium pans or 1 large.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Which "something"should I do...

I feel like I got thrown off the boat.  My re-entry to regular life {post-Christmas} has been Rough.  Yesterday morning I had to drag all five of my sleepy-head kids out of bed making me feel  like the worst mom ever.  Even our little six-year-old, who normally bounces out of bed like Tigger, required some serious coaxing to get moving.

Part of that was because we started a great new book.  Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.  We Love It.  Couldn't stop reading.  We need to start the reading at 8 pm instead of 9:30.  But it's hard to move that internal clock back.

Dallin and Landon made waffles this morning because there was nothing else to eat.  Should I feel guilty that my 13-year-olds have the recipe for waffles (from scratch...)  memorized?  I knew there was no bread, milk cereal etc. but I couldn't drag myself to the store yesterday.  I did make powdered milk. Gotta love Morning Moo.

I did spend some time on my favorite food planning site. {}  I especially love the excel planning sheet.  It even calculates out how much of everything to buy.  I  have 23 of our most common meals and all the ingredients planned out.  For three months.  Now I just have to figure out how to buy, store and rotate.  I downloaded a shopping app on my new cute pink phone.  Anyone have a favorite Droid shopping app?  I am feeling overwhelmed with all the technology I need to embrace.  I think I'll just go back to a notebook for a little bit...

We have two 3-D models of plant and animal cells due tomorrow. Dallin and Landon have basketball tryouts which stresses out my heart whenever they tell me of their private concerns...Benson is reminding me every two seconds to go get him a basketball (they use smaller sizes for kindergarten...) and Jenna and Austin have regressed a good two months on their music lessons, which we have to go to on Thursday.   We have two personal management merit badges to complete and two eagle projects to get done by April.  Who nominated me to help my kids with personal management?

Despite all our organization and great work over Christmas break (I actually love my kids to be home...) the house now looks like a tornado.  

I think I'll take my sister's advice--"If you can't do it all just do something..." And tomorrow will look better. For Sure.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The merriest of merry!

A poem in honor of 1/1/11...
Christmas brings feelings
so tender and sweet.
Time all together
makes bonds that run deep.

As 2010 ends
with so much that was good,
we know that this year 
went just as it should.

Thanksgiving was snowy 
and New Year's was too.
Our Christmas was brown 
so what do you do?

A house we saw moving 
across the back lawn...
With swings and a slide 
for the kids to play on.

Movies and games
were a part of the fun.
In December we saw all our siblings (10 out of 11!)
'cept one. 

Rustin was busy 
with tithing and more,
visits with good folks--
the favorite for sure!

My favorite was family 
and planning good food.
Why is it that chocolate
can cause a good mood?

MP3's and snowboards
took care of the teens.
Just shy of six feet,
those boys grow like beans!

Eleven years old 
is a fun age to be.
Austin discovered
that he sure can ski!

Jenna loves books,
and drawing and such.
Of pet shops and ponies,
she can't have too much!

Keep Benson supplied
with some legos and swords,
and it's a sure bet
that he'll never be bored.

This year the holidays 
brought so much cheer--
we know it will carry us through
to next year!

We hope you all had a great holiday!