Wednesday, May 31, 2006

In Honor of my 9th Grade English Teacher

For Mr. Williams of Provo High School, who shared the following with us as the perfect example of a run-on sentence.


It was in Miss Bechter's 5th grade class at Lyndale Grade School that we were all commanded to learn a poem by heart and be ready to recite it the next day in front of everyone and some of us remembered to learn a poem but most of us didn't but Ronnie Robertson saved the day for a few of us at least for a little while because when it was his turn to recite he just said something he'd known forever which went TEN LITTLE PIGGIES ON THE MOUNTAIN TOP/COME LITTLE PIGGIES AND EAT YOUR SLOP and he sat down and folded his hands and looked straight ahead and nobody giggled out loud and Miss Bechter went right down the row to the next one who was Carol Nelson who snapped up straight and said TREES BY JOYCE KILMER and then said the whole dumb poem without a mistake though she went too fast but when she tried to zip by the part about the tree being pressed to the earth's sweet flowing breast some of us whisper-giggled and Bob Essler said a bit too loud that he'd like to see a tree growing out of a tit which made Miss Bechter say TIME TO GROW UP REMBEMBER BOYS SOME OF YOU ARE GOING TO BE 6TH GRADERS SOON SHALL WE GET BACK TO BUSINESS but as soon as we got back to business a girl tried to get away with TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS WHEN but that's all she got out before Miss Bechter said that wasn't the sort of poem she had in mind and that the girl had better look for a different poem and try again tomorrow and then it was Jerry Beckley's turn which made everybody wonder what he'd try to get away with this time and this time he just yelled TEN LITTLE PIGGIES ON THE MOUNTAIN TOP/COME LITTLE PIGGES AND EAT YOUR SLOP and grinned at Ronnie Robertson but Miss Bechter interrupted his grin by saying Mr. Beckley was supposed to stand when he recited so Mr. Beckley jumped up and yelled it again and Miss Bechter let it go because it was Jerry and because she'd just been cross about TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS but pretty soon she was also cross about the piggies poem because when the next guy tried it she made a noise with her foot and said THAT WILL BE THAT which we all knew meant no more about the piggies and we were on our own but Early Kinard who was a kind of daredevil and didn't care too much about his future and getting into 6th Grade didn't give up right away and when it was his turn to recite he gambled on NINE LITTLE PIGGIES ON THE MOUNTAIN TOP/COME LITTLE PIGGIES AND EAT YOUR SLOP and won and ended up in 6th Grade.

(Keith Gunderson, 25 Minnesota Poets, edited by Seymour Yesner, Minneapolis: Nodin Press, 1974)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Look what I caught in my neighbor's back yard!

Isn't he cute?

Monday, May 15, 2006

My Mom Is Better than Your Mom

From son #2, I received the following card, listing my traits:

My mom's name is Julie .

She is 50 years old and weighs 60 lbs.

She has blonde hair and brown eyes.

Her favorite food is tacos .

She likes to snuggle with me .

She doesn't like to go Lego shopping with me .

My favorite thing about her is that she's nice to me .

I love her because she reminds me to play violin .

Not exactly accurate, but still sweet.

From son #1 came the following talk, written by himself with a little bit of help from his dad, delivered in Sacrament Meeting:

Mother's Day Talk
May 14, 2006

Why did God create woman?
Because he looked at Adam and said: "Oh, I can do better than that!"

A few days ago I was asked by Brother H-- to give a talk about Mother's Day during Sacrament Meeting. Hey Mom? Do me a favor and try not to be too embarrassed...…

The theme of my talk today is how my mom and my grandmas have created an example of sacrifice and endurance for my brothers and me.

A few months ago my Mom got hooked on blogging. Blogging has now become almost a daily routine (note that I said almost). I have learned that you will be much better off to make sure to never disturb her as she writes her strange stories and comedies. Otherwise, you can usually expect her to behave like an angry cat. I think blogging has become her escape when the pressure of raising kids causes her to want to bring back the law of Moses and turn one of us into a burnt offering. I'm grateful that in this way my Mom is teaching me sacrifice and endurance.

After a long, long day of patiently helping and teaching me and my brothers, my Mom and Dad knelt together to say their evening prayers. Mom, being so tired from the efforts of the day, obviously wasn't thinking quite straight. She said, "We are grateful for the clothes that we have to eat and the food that we have to wear..." This story taught me that raising kids can be a demanding job but my Mom always does her best to remember to do what is most important.

Switching gears, let me tell you a little about my Grandma A-- when she was a kid. One day, the Relief Society decided to hold a meeting at her house. She was playing outside and caught a bucketful of mice. She thought they were so cute that she brought them inside to show to all the Relief Society ladies. Once inside, Grandma accidentally tripped and fell, spilling the bucket of mice everywhere. All the Relief Society ladies immediately jumped up onto their chairs and began screaming. The mice were scared from all the noise, so they all ran right back into the bucket. My grandma picked up the bucket, carried it back outside, and let the mice go free again. To this day, she still picks up snakes. Whenever she finds spiders in her house, rather than squishing them, she gingerly picks them up and carries them outside to set them free. This story has taught me to be kind even to things that some of us might find repulsive or scary (not that I mind snakes, but in my opinion spiders are totally evil).

My Grandma S-- has also left me with a legacy of sacrifice and service. Let me tell you two stories about her:

My Grandma and Grandpa S-- lived on a farm in Kansas. Grandpa always carried a rifle on his tractor to take care of the jack rabbits that would devour his crops. One day while driving over a particularly bumpy spot, the rifle accidentally went off. The bullet shot out straight towards his head. At the time, my dad had not been born yet and was still a twinkle in Grandma's eyes. My mom says that's why the bullet hit Grandpa in the teeth rather than killing him. I can just imagine my mom's spirit saying to my dad's, "O.K., you slow down the bullet and I'll wreck the aim!"

So, with blood streaming out of his mouth, Grandpa raced back to the house to get help. My Grandma S-- refused to take him to the hospital until she had a chance to put on some makeup. She always wanted to look her best.

Twenty five years later my Grandma S-- was cleaning up the basement in her house and found what she thought was an old board leaning up against the wall. She decided to vacuum behind it. The board was really a thick and very heavy piece of steel. So when she grabbed the top to move it, it's huge weight carried her hand and smashed it through a nearby wall. With several bones broken and blood streaming from her hand, she again refused to go to the hospital until she had a chance to put on makeup. Once again, she wanted to look her best despite the trying circumstances.

While living on the farm in Kansas, neither of my S-- grandparents were members of our church. One day the missionaries knocked on their door and gave them a Book of Mormon. My grandpa agreed to read it but only to prove that it was wrong. A few months later he was baptized into the church. So much for proving it wrong... My Grandma S-- had a harder time. You see, her dad was a Lutheran minister and the rest of her family were devoted Lutherans. Over time and through an experience that is too sacred to share now, my Grandma S-- came to know that the church was true. However, she was torn between honoring her parents and honoring her newly found beliefs. Eventually, she decided to get baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She found ways to still honor her parents while beginning a legacy of following truth that affects me even to this day.

Through their examples of sacrifice, endurance, and many other things, mothers play an important role in all of our lives. They always have, and they always will. Today is our chance to honor and respect mothers around the world. I know that despite anything, we should always love and respect our mothers. They deserve it. I bear witness to these things humbly in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

You had to have been there to see him deliver it publicly. It was awesome!!! (And I'm not biased at all. You can ask Lorien, Dalene, and Melody.)

Happy Belated Mothers Day, everyone!!!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

My 7 Sevens List

As requested by Elizabeth-W, whom I don't yet know.

7 things I want to do before I die
  1. See all of my children and their spouses together in the celestial room of the temple.
  2. Tour my husband's mission with him (Japan).
  3. Go on a mission with my husband.
  4. Be a better friend.
  5. Travel through Europe (specifically England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales).
  6. Live in a completely finished house.
  7. Build a treehouse in my yard.
7 things I cannot do
  1. Grow a beard. (Give me 20 years, though, and I might be able to do it.)
  2. Ski.
  3. Crochet.
  4. Walk on a tightrope.
  5. Plumbing.
  6. Wire a house.
  7. Lift my van.
7 things that attracted me to my spouse
  1. He's tall, dark, and handsome.
  2. He has a great sense of humor.
  3. He loves to play with children.
  4. He's not afraid to cry.
  5. He is humble.
  6. He teases kindly.
  7. He loves me.
7 things I say often
  1. Who are you in charge of?
  2. Holy cow!
  3. Take care of each other, walk safely, and remember who you are. (To my boys as they leave for school)
  4. Uh-oh! (courtesy of Love and Logic)
  5. I love you.
  6. Oh sh**!
  7. Is your homework done?
7 books I love
  1. I Came to Love You Late, by Joyce Landorf
  2. These Is My Words, by Nancy Turner
  3. Anything by Robin McKinley
  4. The Dark Is Rising series, by Susan Cooper
  5. Harry Potter
  6. The Magic of Ordinary Days, by Ann Howard Creel
  7. Whatever I'm currently reading

7 movies I could watch over and over (or really like a lot--who has time to watch a movie over and over?)
  1. The Princess Bride
  2. Anne of Green Gables
  3. Shrek (1 and 2)
  4. The Emperor's New Groove
  5. Whale Rider
  6. Music from the Heart
  7. Christmas Story

7 People I'd like to hear 7 Sevens from (only seven?!?! Sheesh!)
  1. Dalene
  2. Lorien
  3. ~J
  4. Nihao
  5. Lessel Peeper
  6. Lesleigh
  7. Elastic Waistband Lady

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Shirt Virus Spreads

Is it a plague? Only you can decide.

This is for Lorien, C Jane, ~j, sewfunny, and the rest of you out there who also own "THE SHIRT."

I got mine for $1 at the Orem Walmart. My husband, not to be outdone by Guy, calls it my Garden of Gazoingos. Lovely.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Learning Spanish

My second son said this yesterday to his aunt:
"Sometimes my mom wraps me up in a blanket like a burrito, and then I pretend to eat my way out. But I don't know whether a burrito is a food or a bug."
Yo tambien, mi hijo, yo tambien.