Friday, August 30, 2013

cute things my kids [students] say

I keep a Google Doc of funny things my school students and my Primary students say.  Today I felt like sharing a couple of them.  The following gems are from four four-year-olds at church.  We'll call them A, B, C, and D.  

me: Have any of you seen an angel before?
A: I have!
[At this point I'm really curious as to what she's talking about and decide to get details, since she's offering them.]
me: When have you seen an angel?
A: Once when I was sleeping, I saw the tooth fairy.

B, while giving a talk in Primary: John the Baptist descended in a clown. [giggles]

C: Heavenly Father doesn't want us to be chubby.

me: What would you say if you saw Jesus or if He came to your house?
D: Thank you.
me, touched at her spiritual and mature answer: What would you thank Him for?
D: Like, Thank you for getting me some cereal.


"Love that has been tested is far more awe-inspiring than love that has never known anything but bliss.  Don't look for a partner with whom you have no problems, but one you are good at overcoming problems with.  Just remember: the story of the old elm tree is no fairy tale.  It has a scar, and it is real."  - Po Bronson, Why Do I Love These People?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

on not settling

I heard about a book today.  It's called Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough.  The argument of the book is that people who don't match every quality on "My future spouse will be..." lists still make good spouses.  I agree with that.  I also agree with the idea that sometimes we put unimportant things on our "Important Qualities" lists.  But I hate the idea of telling someone to "settle."  Adjust what's most important, sure.  Being able to play the guitar or having blue eyes probably isn't essential.  (I don't know your life; maybe they are.)  But don't settle for someone you don't want in hopes that s/he will become who you want.  Look for someone you do want!  Or a job you want, a GPA, a dog, a house, whatever you're making a list about.  

I'll say this: My family visited us recently and brought with them a bunch of stuff I'd been storing at their house.  Included was a list I wrote when I was 15 of qualities I wanted my future husband to have.  It's a full page, people.  Three columns.  And my husband fits every one of them.


"[Families] build new traditions, and they pass these on to their children and friends, spreading a simple value - that we are stronger together than alone."  - Po Bronson, Why Do I Love These People?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Anybody's Guess

Joel and I have a pretty sweet collection of games, many of which our friends have never heard of.  A couple months ago I added a new one to the game closet: Anybody's Guess.  Thank you, garage sales!  It was only a dollar!  It's a "here's a clue, guess the word" game from 1990, so many of the words are a little outdated and obscure now.  They make for a pretty entertaining game. :)

Here's how you play:
Form two teams.  Team 1 looks at a card full of clues and predicts how many clues Team 2 will need to guess the mystery word.  Team 2 gets 30 seconds per card, one clue at a time, and can make one guess per clue.  Each clue is worth a certain amount of points.  When Team 2 guesses the word correctly, they get the number of points as the clue that prompted the guess was worth.  If Team 1 predicted correctly, they get the same amount of points.  Points = moving forward on the board.  Whoever gets to the end first wins!

Results: Joel really doesn't like this game.  I love it.  You should try it.  Here are three sample cards, drawn randomly from the box, easiest first... Remember - only one clue at a time!


The young live in mother's pouch.

The name means "it does not drink."

Sleeps during the day

An Australian native that eats only eucalyptus leaves


Okay, that was fun.  Now a harder one.


Digs deep

His favorite way to cook a steak: well dun 
["dun" intentionally misspelled - this game is very punny]

Makes collect calls all day

He needs money, honey


Well, folks, it's been fun, but here's your last (and hardest) card.


A 1967 lyrical mystery

A song of the South

Bobbie Gentry's #1 hit

Saga of the Tallahatchee Bridge



"Now it was time to be tested, to make decisions and find her own roads, 
to stop falling where she was told to fall and to stand only when allowed to stand."
The Goose Girl
Shannon Hale

Saturday, August 24, 2013

alisonism #16: You don't have to take MY word for it...

I love to read!

When I was younger and had "first" things more often (days of school, camp, work; conversations with people at stake dances, etc.), I was always asked what I liked to do.  I was always a little embarrassed to say I liked to read, partly because there are two stereotypes for girls who like to read, and one of those is cool and one is not.  Heaven forbid I be classified by the uncool one!  :)  But I have spent the last two summers remembering just how much I love reading, and that is a lot.   This summer I read 22 books, amounting to 6072 pages, and it was incredible.

I lose track of real life when I read.  Tonight I started reading and didn't realize how long it'd been until I finished my book after midnight.  Last week I was reading at my in-laws' house and had no idea people'd been talking to me for several minutes until they were laughing because I hadn't heard them.

I connect with characters and stories so fully that I have a hard time not finishing a good book in one sitting.  How is everything going to resolve?  Will they be happy?  Will my emotional investment have been worth it?

Then, when I finish a good book, it takes a while for me to get back to real life.  Like, sometimes half an hour to an hour, which seems pretty long to me now that I think about it.  But when you're that invested in something, it's hard to just put it aside for something like eating dinner or going to sleep!

Anyway.  Here's a list of the books I read this summer (between May and August) and which I'd recommend.  Try out a couple!

(sorted by when I read them) (Beware: Several of these are first books of series.  I refer to this summer as The Summer of Sequels because of how many series I unknowingly started.  You might look into whether you have access to the rest of a series before starting the first book of one, just in case your library is also tiny and charges $3 per interlibrary loan.)

The Two Sisters of BamarreGail Carson Lavine239yes
CinderMarissa Meyer387YES
Leverage PointGerald N. Lund288It's a little tough to stay engaged in, but it was pretty good.
The Body ElectricAllie Duzett239YES!
StorkWendy Delsol357YES! There were a couple parts when I was afraid it would get inappropriate, but it didn't. At the beginning you know something inappropriate happened, but it doesn't say exactly.
The Cupcake QueenHeather Hepler242yes
TankbornKaren Sandler370yes
The Haunted House KidMatthew Gary MilamNOOOOO! I couldn't even read a full page. Grammar - bad. Layout - bad. Design - bad. Writing - horrible. Doesn't flow at all. Couldn't get past the horrible writing to get to the story. And I have a high tolerance for bad writing.
Prayers for SaleSandra Dallas352maybe - it depends on who was asking. It's set in Civil War times and has a lot of sadness in it. It also only kind of has a plot. Pretty good, though.
The Goose GirlShannon Hale383yes. very good.
The SelectionKiera Cass327yes!
FoundMargaret Peterson Haddix314yes.
Double IdentityMargaret Peterson Haddix218yes. interesting twist!
SentMargaret Peterson Haddix313yes.
Life As We Knew ItSusan Beth Pfeffer338probably. It's sad - the world ends and things never really turn up. decent ending. realistic situations. - good writing.
GlimpseStacey Wallace Benefiel261no. fascinating premise, but there's too much inappropriate at the beginning.
Every You, Every MeDavid Levithan248depends on the person. pretty dark - as in, you don't know if he's schizophrenic or something, dark. draws you in, though.
Don't Die, DragonflyLinda Joy Singleton269yes
The Only Alien on the PlanetKristen D. Randle228Wow. Holy crap. That was a good book.
The LeapJonathan Stroud233no. boring
First ImpressionsMarilyn Sachs112how a girl came to appreciate the book Pride & Prejudice - meh. It's fine.
Breaking BeautifulJennifer Shaw Wolf354yes, to a more mature audience. about the mental after-effects of physical (not sexual) abuse by a boyfriend.


"If we don't tell strange stories, when something strange happens we won't believe it."  - Shannon Hale, The Goose Girl