Thursday, January 29, 2009


Monday night driving home
Mike calls his mother in Seattle to tell her about the new baby.

Joni and I were in the car and heard his half of the conversation:
"Hi Mom. I hear you are still having pretty cold weather.
Yea, it's cold here, too.
Its 16 below zero.
below zero.
okay now its 17 below zero.
I know what below zero is, mom.
No it's not below freezing, it's below zero.
We don't use that kind of temperature here, mom,
below zero, not below freezing.
Okay mom, its 49 degrees below freezing.
Yes it is too that cold here.
I've lived here for almost 30 years and you didn't know it got that cold here?"

Eventually it got down to about 25 below. School was cancelled on Tuesday. Since then it's warmed up by about 35 degrees. I shovelled off our front walkway and didn't bother putting on gloves or a coat. It's a balmy 15.
Above zero.

Welcome to the World!

Emily and David had their baby on Monday night. It was a bit of a surprise as she wasn't due to have a C-section until Feb. 4. We all jumped in our cars and drove to Pocatello arriving a little bit after Zachary did. He got the royal welcome to the family as we passed him around. When David held Nathan up to see the baby he reached out and touched his hand and said, "baby brother". It was so cute.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

One Week down......

My first week of classes was pretty interesting. I know I went into this semester kind of dragging my feet. Not because I didn't want to learn but I just didn't know if I wanted to put myself through all the work. I think the extra work will be worth it. I'm excited about what I've learned already.
By tomorrow morning I need to turn in 20 thumbies (small drawings) of my ideal art studio. These all have to be done in 1 point perspective. It's been a good exercise. I can tell I'm getting better at perspective drawing already! Tomorrow in class we'll choose one of the 20 and do a blown up version. It's good to actually put graphite to paper and draw again.

My other class is digital illustration. Since I just took this class I kind of know what to expect. It's always surprising to me how 2 different teachers can teach the same subject so differently. I think I going to LOVE the way this teacher teaches it. No real homework. We're supposed to make a blog, ha ha, and familiarize ourselves with Illustration Friday. Since I already have an art blog ( ) and I've been submitting things to Illustration Friday for a long time now it wasn't too hard to get prepared.

Day 6 of the Great Workout Challenge:
Mike - 3
Linda - 6
Joni - 7
Andy - 2.5

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Ana's Sunset

Contrary to popular opinion around here, I do not have to be the one to run outside as the sun sinks toward the west, with camera in hand. I can appreciate the efforts of others just as much. Our awesome student secretary took this one. I asked her if I could "borrow" it. She graciously consented. It's only natural that we Idahodians look upward during the winter months. (Actually Ana is Brazilian, but that's beside the point.) The ground here is mostly white and sometimes boring. You have to look up to see color.

Day 4 of the great workout challenge:

Mike: 3

Linda: 3

Joni: 5

Andy 1.5

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Alaskan Sunset

My mom, who is in Alaska visiting my sister, saw this sunset as they were driving from Anchorage back to the house. She thought of me and snapped this photo. My sister just e-mailed it to me tonight.
Thanks for the photo Mom! And thanks for sending it, Catherine.

Day 2 of the great workout challenge:
Mike 2 points
Linda 2 points
Joni 2 points

I start my Creative Perspective class tomorrow morning at 7:45 am. It's a testament to how badly I want to take the class that I am willing to get there by 7:45. Everyone in the geology department seems to be in frenzied hyper-drive. I really did try to prepare early for the semester. I thought I had everything under control, but I guess when you throw in a bunch of first-time classes it puts everyone on high alert. This semester the entire GE program is almost phased out. A new concept called "Foundations" is being implemented. We had a soft-start on it in the fall. The professor who taught it said he thought it was an awesome class, and it about killed him preparing for it all semester. This semester we've got 6 more professors doing them. I have a feeling we're all going to feel stressed out all semester.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Being a Contender

For one of my Christmas presents Mike got me a membership to World Gym. I've always exercised. I walk, I hike, I bike. Mostly walking and biking. But when the temperature dips down into the negatives it just doesn't make me want to walk outside. It's not actually the cold that stops me so much as it is the icy roads. I don't want any car snuffing the life out of me cause they couldn't stop sliding.

We also have a treadmill and a Bow-flex in our basement. I know the big joke is that most people have treadmills and they are great places to hang your clothes. The truth is we've gone through 2 treadmills and have had to have them surviced and repaired multiple times. The reason? We wear them out!!!

The treadmill we have now is not broken. The belt does tend to slide to the side after a few minutes, and it makes a squeaky noise, but it's still very usable. And the Bow-flex works great! I love it.

So why did I consent to do the gym membership. Mostly it's my husband. He just can not motivate himself to use the home machines. I can understand why. When I get home from work or school I don't really want to jump on one of them either. So I decided if we both belonged to thy gym he would be better about exercising.
When we got to the gym to sign up I saw a woman on the other side. This gal had biceps!
and triceps! and a six pack! and perfect hair! And wrinkles. Hey, wait a minute. I KNOW that lady. Sure enough, before we got out of there she and her equally buff husband (who used to be my gynocologist (can you say awkward)) sauntered over and said, "so you've decided to make a New Year's resolution, huh?" She might as well have said, "so, you out-of-shape, soft-bodied mollusks have decided to get off the couch and exercise, huh?" All I could do was agree with her. ("Yes we decided to leave the primordial ooze of our low-life existence and attempt to whip our sorry butts into shape.") She does look awfully good for her/my age. It gives me hope.

Well, yesterday Mike came up with a proposal. (I knew he would)
He wants to make a contest out of it. Every time we go to the gym and work out for at least 30 minutes we get one point. You can earn 2 points a day if there is at least 8 hours between workouts. (I insisted on this because Mike tends to go overboard and will work out for 2 or 3 hours straight to catch up after not working out at all for months.)
At the end of the month the one with the most points wins 100 dollars.

Joni really jumped on this and will probably win the money every month, but I'm sure Mike will give her a run for her money. He's VERY competitive. I'll just be consistent and when they both burn out I'll cruise on by and collect the cash. *smile*
Day 1 -
Mike 1 point
Linda 1 point
Joni 1 point
Andy .5 point

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Sun Rising

Taken a couple of mornings ago, right before I headed to work. It was beautiful.

Thoughts on a Saturday Morning

As I sit here typing I am serenaded by a flock of hungry songbirds clamouring for the seed in my bird feeder. They jostle and jockey for position and squabble and chirp. It's very entertaining. I love to watch them. There are often 20 or more birds at a time fluttering around my deck. The bird seed goes quickly. I must refill it every day. On the mornings when I am slow I step out onto the deck and wonder where my little friends are. It is quiet. Then I look up. The large cottonwood that hovers overhead is filled with birds, all silently watching me. I pour in the seed and then give my little whistle as I head back inside. Almost before I can return to the window overlooking the feeder the feeding frenzy begins. The fray lasts for a couple of hours at least. It keeps me, and my cat, very entertained.

My son, Andy, is a die-hard WOW player. It has been a source of worry and contention for a year now. Andy wants to play all the time. His parents would be happy if he never played again. There has been a lot of give and take in the compromises that allow Andy to play. For a while it simply involved keeping his grades up, and doing one thing with friends during the week. Then one day Joni came to me concerned. She had Andy do a push up and he struggled. He could barely do one pushup and he's supposedly in the prime of his physical life. I was also concerned. We struck a new deal. When Andy came to me to ask for playing time (yea parental controls, at least I can control how much he plays) I said "sure as soon as you do 100 pushups. I thought for sure he would not even attempt it, but he dropped to the floor and started doing them. The first few were very shaky and his form was terrible. He butt was high and he sure didn't lower himself very much. He kept trying to do them, and by the time he got to 30 I thought he would kill himself trying to get to 100. Finally I said he could stop at 30 if he also did 30 sit ups. He agreed. The situps were as ugly as the pushups, but he was doing them. The next day he could hardly move.
A new pattern was set.
Every day before play he would do 30 pushups and 30 situps. He gradually got better and better. When I could see that they were getting easier for him I would start to demand better form. He had to have a straight body. He had to touch his chin to the floor at least once. Currently he can pump out 20 straight pushups without stopping and then he will do 10 with his chin touching the floor. They are getting easier for him. I can see he is starting to take some pride in his physical accomplishments. He told me that one day in PE the losing team had to do 10 pushups. He ended up doing 50 pushups during class because his team kept losing. I asked him if he was glad he started doing pushups at home 3 weeks before. Yes, he was very glad.

I'll keep pushing him on the exercises, but today I had an epiphany.
The reason I want him to keep his grades up and do something with friends and to exercise is that I want him to be well-rounded. He needs to not neglect any one area of his life. There was one area that we had not been working on. Spiritual. So we added a requirement today. After his exercising he must read one chapter of scripture. He's studying the New Testament in Seminary, so I told him he could read that for his scripture time. He must read the chapters successively though. No skipping around looking for little chapters. He agreed. And he read his chapter this morning. That boy will do almost anything for a little WOW time.

My New Years Resolution:
Try a little harder to be a little better. President Hinckley used to say this often. Since he died this year I want my resolution to be in honor of him. I lost two of my favorite men this year. President Hinckley and my father. I know my dad would approve of this resolution too. The biggest thing I want to try a little harder to be a little better at, is keeping my big mouth shut. I've gotten myself into a little trouble this year saying things that I've later regretted. I was looking through my book shelf the other day for something to read and found a book I didn't even know I had. It's called "Me and My Big Mouth". I think it was written just for me. It is a scriptural approach to controlling your tongue. I'm reading it. I hope I can learn from it.

I've been trying to keep up my calendar journal. I hope to post a picture of December's here soon.

Cheers! and have a great weekend.