Saturday, October 31, 2009
This had the potential to be a good book but it really wasn't. It took me a long time to get through it because I kept getting bored. That's not a good sign. The main problem was just a lack of focus and too much repetition of the same ideas and facts. The story was interesting, but not as interesting as the author seemed to think it was.
Right of Thirst by Frank Huyler
I had a hard time getting into this book at first, but after a while the story picked up pace and I really enjoyed it. It's an interesting meditation on international aid and on growing older, among other things. The writing is really beautiful and the plot has several twists that I was not expecting.
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
I really don't like the title of this book, but it was still a good read and a has a very interesting plot. It alternates between the story of a twelve-year-old boy and his first love, and the same boy now grown up forty years later. Some of the characters and situations seemed a bit too stereotypical but I liked the characters anyways and really enjoyed reading it.
The Ladies Auxiliary by Tova Mirvis
This book is a fairly standard story of an outsider who comes to a small community and shakes things up with her unconventional ways. But, it really is more than that due to the quality of the writing and the unusual setting (an Orthodox Jewish community in Memphis). I had a hard time getting into the book initially because there are a lot of different characters and much of the terminology was unfamiliar to me, but in the end I really liked it. Comparisons with my experience as a member of a religious community were inevitable for me and so this book gave me a lot to think about.
And the Band Played On by Randy Shilts
After reading My Own Country last month I decided it was time to read this book, widely considered a classic of medical and political writing. Reading it was quite the experience. First of all, the book is dense, meticulous, and covers a lot of ground (it chronicles the first few years of the emergence of AIDS). I kept having to put it down and take a break. It's also an angry book; Shilts is angry at a lot of people--there aren't very many players in the story who come off well. I'm glad I read it because it really was an enlightening experience; if you're interested in this topic it is well worth your time (given the subject matter there is some explicit language).
The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. K. Lee
I had a good time reading this book, but I still didn't think it was a great novel by any means. The title character is a young woman who comes to Hong Kong and becomes a piano teacher for a wealthy local family. Through them she learns all about political and romantic intrigue that took place during the war ten years earlier. Most of the book is actually not about her, but instead about the other characters in the flashback. I thought this was a little weird, plus the writing just wasn't that great.
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
I think I would have liked this book more if I hadn't read so many other books like it. Why is the postmodern Holocaust novel such a big thing right now? It was an interesting book, but ultimately it didn't stand out to me in any particular way.
This is the kind of movie that is enjoyable if you don't think about it too much. Or at all. The concept is similar to the show Heroes, where people have supernatural abilities. And they're trying to escape evil people and save something important. It's a fun action flick.
The Sixth Sense
It's been a while since either of us has seen this movie so Mr. Fob and I thought it was time for a rerun. I was impressed again by both the acting and the technical aspects of the storytelling. And even though I think it's not too 'scary' it still creeps me out considerably.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
My mom just bought a plane ticket for when the baby gets here. It seems like things are happening fast, and yet there's so much to still happen before that time. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years. Hopefully buying a house. Hopefully finding money to pay for diapers and for delivery. Part of me wants things to go fast, and part of me just wants to enjoy the next few months when I can sleep at night and we only have to deal with two children.
Speaking of two children, Little Dude and I have been having a hard time lately. I think it's partly just being a three-and-a-half year old, partly having recently moved, having his sister go to school all day, and potty training. He's been acting out a lot more than he used to and there are too many days when I'm just tired and crabby. Plus the last few weeks have been so busy with S-Boogie being sick and now we're having a cold snap that he hasn't had a chance to get outside and play as much as he should. We have a large playroom in the basement but for some reason the kids hate it. They act like I'm punishing them when I try and send them down there. At least having lived through one child being three gives us the perspective that some day this will pass and he will get back to normal. Probably not until after the baby comes though.
I bought a nasal irrigation kit at Costco the other day and I am now a fan. Never thought I would endorse squirting saline solution up my nose on purpose, but it actually feels good. Hopefully it will keep me healthy. Now I just need to get out my pregnancy yoga DVD and try harder to take better care of myself. The daily walks haven't been happening lately with the cold weather and all the illness we've been having. Which reminds me--proper sleep is important for good health too. Good night!
Monday, October 26, 2009
Much of the music we listened to when I was a kid was country music. Old, classic country music. Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Merle Haggard, George Jones, etc. When I was very young we didn't have a television, but we had a record player and my parents had an extensive collection. It's hard to pick a song from this era because there were so many that are totally ingrained in my head. Like pretty much everything from Marty Robbins' Gunfighter Ballads album. I also loved going through the albums and looking at the covers; some of my favorites were "The Guitars that Ruled the World" (or something like that--it had giant guitars stepping on houses) and that Rolling Stones album that looked like a birthday cake made out of records. At night my parents would put us to bed and stay up listening to music while they talked or played games like dominos. For some reason I have many memories of lying in bed listening to the soundtrack to Coal Miner's Daughter. Now I know that it's actually Sissy Spacek and Beverly D'Angelo singing, but as a kid it didn't matter. I still have certain pictures in my head of a woman wandering around at night in the trees when I hear anyone sing "Walking After Midnight."
Track 1: "Walking After Midnight" by Patsy Cline
My parents subscribed to a lot of magazines, among them Mother Earth News. As a kid I read pretty much anything I could get my hands on and that included most of the magazines lying around. I saw an ad for an album by a group called Gentlemen Without Weapons thatcaught my eye; they didn't play instruments, but instead synthesized nature sounds to create music (it was the late '80s, OK?). The year I turned ten, I got my first 'boombox' for Christmas and my first cassette tape: Transmissions by Gentlemen Without Weapons. My sister still hates them and hates the album because I listened to it every night at bedtime for about a year. Their strident environmental messages reflect my budding eco-consciousness; when I was twelve I spent several months writing letters to political leaders about the importance of dolphin-safe tuna and I didn't stop wearing my air-brushed endangered species t-shirts until I went to college.
Track 2: "Unconditional Love (Planet Earth)" by Gentlemen Without Weapons
Every summer we went on road trips as a family, almost always to Utah and Wyoming to visit relatives. Sometimes I hated it, sometimes I loved it, but Wyoming still feels a bit like a second home to me. We listened to a lot of music in the car and there are some albums that just feel like road trip music to me. One of those is the album Will the Circle be Unbroken: Volume 2 by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (The Eagles and U2 are also perfect road trip music). The album is actually a collaboration by the band with a bunch of other contemporary country artists, and the folksy bluegrass always makes me think about driving around Wyoming with my family.
Track 3: "Lost River" by Nitty Gritty Dirtband with Michael Martin Murphey
I think most people I know would agree that junior high is pretty much the armpit of life. During seventh grade I got both glasses and braces, but failed to really go through puberty and was therefore resigned to being a geek for the rest of my life. Plus I went to gifted classes, wrote letters to Congress about saving the whales, and volunteered at the school library. I felt fairly comfortable in my geekiness, but secretly longed to be cool. Like my younger sister who had the right clothes, subscribed to Teen magazine (which I secretly read when she wasn't looking), and had New Kids on the Block posters instead of pictures of dolphins on the wall. Thankfully I could listen to her music because we shared a room and so I got my fill of cool stuff like Janet Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Tiffany. Not to mention the nights I went roller skating at the Skate Palace and could really get down on the dance floor and forget for a little while just how nerdy I was.
Track 4: "Straight Up" by Paula Abdul
Another thing that happened when I was in seventh grade was the start of the Gulf War (the first one). My dad ended up being deployed to Saudia Arabia for six months due to his work as a contractor. When he got home he bought a new, bigger television as well as a new stereo system that included a cool new gadget: a CD player. We started watching a lot more movies at home with our new TV and VCR and for a while I really got into movie soundtracks. One of the first CDs I ever bought was the soundtrack to Spielberg's Empire of the Sun, mostly for the opening track with its soaring vocals (even thought I don't understand Welsh).
Track 5: "Suo Gan" from the Empire of the Sun soundtrack
My parents didn't always listen to country music and old-school rock. At some point they discovered reggae music as well and that became a big part of our family soundtrack. I have many memories of waking up to Bob Marley, which boomed through the house while my dad was getting ready for work. I loved the upbeat music and lyrics and have been a reggae fan ever since (try Jimmy Cliff for something fun and not quite so overplayed). I will admit to feeling a bit of smugness over the fact that I've been listening to Bob Marley long before he became cool, but I'm also not sure how long reggae has been 'in' so I probably don't need to be smug after all.
Track 6: "Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley
When I got to high school I finally discovered a group of equally geeky friends. We had a great time hanging out together after school, when we weren't at practice for Knowledge Bowl or Geography Bowl. In my community most of the available music was ranchero or hip hop, although my older brother supplied a steady stream of grunge and alternative for me to remain in the know with what white people listened to as well. Right about the time my brother discovered Tori Amos several of my friends did as well, and I fell in love with her too. In fact, I'm still completely in love with Little Earthquakes and have had a hard time getting into her later albums because every song is just rooted in my high school experience so deeply. I still need to figure out what happened to the Tori Amos piano book my friends gave me when I moved away my senior year.
Track 7: "Winter" by Tori Amos
My freshman year of college I went off to BYU and lived in Heritage Halls with five other girls. We all had different personalities but we generally got along quite well and I still keep in touch with most of them. It was a fun opportunity for me to really start relaxing and feeling like I could hang out with a variety of people; I'm still grateful to my roommates for their genuine friendship and the guidance they gave me on becoming more socially adept. We often had the radio in our kitchen on when we were home and it was usually tuned to B98.7, which played a general mix of 'pop favorites'. When we were feeling especially crazy we would get on our table and dance, almost always to "Red Red Wine" by UB40; one day the table suddenly crashed to the ground (we weren't on it at the time). We told maintenance that we had no idea why that had happened. I'm sure they'd heard that one before.
Track 8: "Red Red Wine" by UB40
I could probably create an entire playlist of U2 songs that would span my life and all have meaning. I love U2 and have been listening to them for years; Joshua Tree reminds me of road trips and lazy Sunday afternoons. My dad and I had always said for years that we would go to a concert together, and then they scheduled a concert in Salt Lake for my nineteenth birthday. My dad flew out to Utah and took me to see U2 in concert for my birthday. I'm embarrassed to admit that it's pretty much the only concert I've ever been to; I'm just not that cool. At least my only concert experience was a good one.
Track 9: "Even Better Than the Real Thing" by U2
Sometime during my sophomore year of college (or maybe the summer before) I went to a local store to sell some CDs in an attempt to make money and clean out my closet. While I was there they began playing an album by someone I hadn't heard before, but it was so amazing that I hung around the store just to listen to the whole thing. That was one of the few times I spontaneously bought an album by an artist I wasn't already totally familiar with. It was Fumbling Toward Ecstasy by Sarah McLachlan, and there was something about her haunting voice that spoke to a particularly angsty time in my life. Her songs on that album are all about failing to connect and bitterness in love and were the perfect thing for me to listen to on lonely Friday nights while doing my homework.
Track 10: "Possession" by Sarah McLachlan
To be fair, not all my Friday nights were lonely during my first few years of college. At the beginning of my freshman year I tried out for and made the College Bowl team. I'm still grateful for the chance I had to do something I love with such a great group of people. We spent a lot of weekends on trips to other campuses for competitions; sometimes we flew and sometimes we drove. Before my junior year the university cut our funding and decided that it didn't want to have a College Bowl team anymore, but we kept practicing and went to a few competitions by ourselves. That spring a few of us drove out to a competition at Berkeley, and while were there I took advantage of the fact that they had a Tower Records and used a gift certificate from Christmas to buy a few things. One of them was The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill; I wasn't a huge hip hop fan, but I liked her songs that I'd heard released on the radio and decided to get the album. We listened to it several times on the way back to Provo from Berkeley and I loved the entire thing. A few years later, after my mission, I found out that my album purchase had been serendipitous because a certain person who was pursuing me happened to love Lauryn Hill as well (and has jokingly stated that he asked me to marry him at least partially for the opportunity to own the album).
Track 11: "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" by Lauryn Hill
I took Italian classes for two years before my mission because I thought I was going to be an Art History major. Then I switched to English and I ended going on my mission to Spain so Italian kind of dropped out of the picture. I discovered in Spain that many of the same artists record in both Italy and Spain, since it's fairly easy to switch between the two languages and they can make more money that way. I heard many of the singers I'd discovered in Italian class singing in Spanish and I still haven't given up my (slightly embarrassing) love for Euro-pop. One of my favorite things to do in language classes is to sing along with pop music, but right now when I'm not teaching or taking classes I mostly sing along in my car (not when Mr. Fob is in the car because he teases me about it).
Track 12: "Strani Amori"/"Amores Extranos" by Laura Pausini
I'd better get to bed, but that's twelve songs that have reflected various periods of my life. It was a long post to write, but a lot of fun because I haven't thought about these things for a long time. I don't think I'm going to run out and buy the Gentlemen Without Weapons album but maybe I should track down some of this other stuff just for fun.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
As far as research goes, I've been able to find a lot at my local library. I'm blessed to live in a city with a library that has a large collection of children's materials (and I'm married to a librarian who gives me hints on finding things). I really like juvenile nonfiction because it makes things easy to read; there are often quite a few easy international cookbooks in the food section and basic introductions to countries in the geography section. If your catalog searching skills need some help, ask a librarian and they should be happy to help you. There are often good resources online, especially for recipes and other cultural information. With both books and online resources, don't forget to check both the date and the publisher to make sure the information is current and reliable. Another interesting source is the Friend magazine online. Unfortunately they don't publish pictures online, but for a number of years they've been publishing profiles of kids around the world that can be fun to read. Sometimes they also have international recipes too. You might be able to find back issues at your church library, so if you find a story online you can look for it in person so you can see the pictures. There are also quite a few good books out there that compare different countries in visual ways for kids (and adults); two interesting ones are Hungry Planet and Material World. If you don't have a large world map for your wall it's not to hard to find a good one that doesn't cost very much. Try checking your local teachers supply store or bookstore.
Today we talked about Afghanistan; I found some coloring pages of rugs and sheep online and we ate kebabs with naan. We also looked at some books we found online. The kids thought the kebabs were too 'spicy' but they loved the bread. The highlights for them from the books were finding out that Afghanistan is a mountainous desert like Utah (S-Boogie drew that connection herself), that they have outdoor markets, they have a lot of sheep, and they are Muslims who worship in mosques not churches. I'll try and write a post every few weeks with what we've been doing for the different countries. It's fun to have an audience to be accountable to.
Monday, October 19, 2009
I also decided to start a project that I've been thinking about for a while. We are going to spend the next year or so learning about different countries in the world, focusing on one a week. I picked Wednesday night to be our special meal night, plus I'm checking some kids books out from the library about each country and if we can find a family-friendly movie about it then we'll watch it on Friday for our usual movie night. I'm partly doing this because I want my kids to learn more about the world around them (and sadly geography is not taught very much these days in school) and partly because I like researching and learning about other places. I put this off for a while because I was trying to figure out the logistics and because I felt self-conscious about the implications of it. Trying to narrow down a list of 5o countries to focus on was surprisingly hard and I felt guilt for cutting out some of them. I've also been worried about the kitsch factor. I realize, though, that our kids are still quite young and this is only the beginning. If the most they learn is that there are people all over the world who eat different foods and have different flags, that's fine for this point in their lives. This week we're doing Afghanistan and I'm excited to try cooking some beef kebabs on Wednesday night. I don't think we're going to watch The Kite Runner for family movie night though.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
In other news, something I've been hesitant to announce on my blog looks like it might actually come true so I'm going to say it: we're buying a house. Right now in the middle of the process this doesn't feel like 'good news', but I have faith that it will work out and we will be somewhere else in a month. Somewhere without scary stairs to the basement or leaking pipes or incompetent landlords that don't fix them. And a dishwasher. We really weren't planning on buying anything in the near future. Then we noticed a house just two blocks away that was being offered as a rent-to-own. We went and looked at it, fell in love with it (it has pretty much everything we wanted in a home), and jumped into the mess that is trying to buy a home. I've been really nervous about the whole thing but I also keep feeling like it is the right decision. At least this time we'll be moving before I have a baby. We hope.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Last week was fun, but crazy. Mr. Fob has six siblings, three of whom live in Hawaii. Last week two of his sisters and their families came to visit, plus his dad, so we all went up to a cabin by Bear Lake for a few days. It was fun and a little crazy at the same time. Since we were already most of the way up there, we took a quick day trip up to Wyoming and rode horses at my aunt's house. It was fun, even though the horses were acting kind of crazy since we had some from my uncle and some from my aunt and they weren't too happy about getting together (and no, I didn't get on a horse this time--not a good idea in my condition).
So we got back late Wednesday night and I spent most of Thursday trying to unpack and put my house back together. That was interspersed with visits from our manager and someone who came to repair a water leak that's been happening for several months now (finally!). The good news was that he was pretty sure simply fixing all the cracked grout in the shower should solve the leaking, the bad news was that we couldn't use our shower from Thursday through Sunday. Thursday night we all got together for a family picture; Little Dude was very uncooperative and it was cold, but at least we got a picture and it will hopefully look nice (besides the sulking toddler).
Friday morning was used up on a fruitless errand to the DMV in Provo; I only realized it was fruitless after getting there and remembering that they are closed on Fridays. After we came home I started preparing lunch. Little Dude took off running down the hall (he runs everywhere), slipped, and smacked into the corner of the wall instead. As soon as Mr. Fob picked him up I knew we needed to go get his head stitched up. Thankfully Mr. Fob could take an hour or so off work to help me take him in; I could have done it myself, but handling a crying, bleeding three-year-old is a lot easier with a helper. Urgent Care was a surprisingly pleasant experience and Little Dude was very cooperative with receiving six stitches in his head.
Saturday we headed off to the pumpkin patch at Thanksgiving Point with some cousins, and while the kids and Mr. Fob had a great time I really didn't. It was bigger than I expected, plus I managed to get lost in the kiddie maze with Little Dude (well, somehow we wandered into the regular maze). Four hours on my feet was too much for me, that's for sure. Saturday evening we hosted family for dinner, and then last night we had everyone over again too.
Like I said, things were kind of crazy and stressful, but not horrible. I've had worse weeks before, it just feels like a lot of stressful things happening at once. Plus I've been battling a bad cold for the last few days as well as the return of one of my old problems that I've blogged about before**TMI** don't keep reading if you don't want to. Twice in the last few weeks I've had really bad hemorrhoid flareups again. Like bad enough that simply breathing hurts. I have to pretty much spend all my time lying down on the couch hoping they go away. It's so frustrating because it's always the same spot, and it's really not diet-related anymore. Basically it's gravity and the pressure from the baby. I'm stressed because I'm only going to get bigger for the next sixteen weeks and I'm afraid I'm going to spend that entire time lying down on my couch for fear that my entire bottom is going to fall out. If it still is a problem after I have this baby I'm going to go talk to a doctor. Butt surgery is not a great option, but I don't want to spend the rest of my life unable to walk, hike, bike, or lift things without fear of the consequences. Also, I'm sure my blog readers don't want to hear about this for the rest of my life either. As Mr. Fob reminded me last night, it's not a life-threatening complication and if I have to take it easy for the rest of the pregnancy that's not the end of the world. It's also pretty much the only reason why I'm glad I actually don't have to have a vaginal delivery.
Anyways, here's hoping this week is better. We still have a few more days to have fun with family and it's almost Halloween. Fall is offically here and I love the cold, crisp weather and all the yummy local fruits like apples and pears. I think I need to go bake something so I can feel better; time to learn how to bake while lying down on my couch.
Thursday, October 08, 2009
I didn't put the subtitle of this book on here because it's really long, but the book is about a cholera epidemic in London during the mid-nineteenth century and the men who figured out how the disease was spreading through the water system. It was a very readable, interesting book about a lot of related topics: epidemics, sociology, history, the development of cities, ecology, and sanitation. I felt that in some places his arguments were not convincing and I didn't agree with his decision in the final chapters to try and tie so many things together, but I generally enjoyed the book.
Abide With Me by Elizabeth Strout
I really enjoyed reading Olive Kitteridge and so I thought I'd try some of Strout's earlier work. This book also had lovely writing, but I felt that story fell a little flat and I didn't like very many of the characters.
1959: The Year Everything Changed by Fred Kaplan
This is another book that had potential to be good but just didn't work for me. I had a hard time reading it and kept having to put it aside for a while. Some of the material was quite interesting, but his writing style just didn't work for me and I had a hard time believing some of his arguments. More than anything, the book felt really uneven, with some chapters obviously displaying a greater depth of understanding than others.
My Own Country: A Doctor's Story by Abraham Verghese
This is a book I did not expect to like as much as I did. It has the rare combination of a compelling, true story told by someone with a gift for writing. As a memoir it is beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. I also learned a lot more about the early days of AIDS in America and how it affected the lives of everyone who came in contact with it. There are also other, subtler issues that show up (like the life of a doctor and dealing with a young marriage) which make the book even more rich in detail. I would recommend this book to anyone, but be warned that he is fairly graphic in describing both the medical details and the personal lives of his patients.
Into Thin Air by John Krakauer
I've heard good things about this book for years but never got around to reading it until now. It was a little hard to get into at first, since I don't have much interest in mountain climbing and there are a lot of different characters in it. But, Krakauer really is a talented writer and I found myself unable to put down the book and finished the last half all in one sitting.
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
Yes, another Verghese book in the same month. This is his first novel, and I was impressed that it was just as enjoyable as his nonfiction is. It's a long saga of a book but it holds together well and I really loved reading it. A good book to curl up with and really sink your teeth into on a long afternoon.
Lengthen Your Stride: The Presidency of Spencer W. Kimball by Edward L. Kimball
I ended up reading this entire book in one day last week when I needed to be resting, and I will certainly give it credit for being readable and interesting. In the past I will confess to having a bit of a negative attitude towards President Kimball based on some of his writings and public statements. However, after reading this biography that manages to be both honest and sympathetic, I can now say that I really understand why so many people liked him so much (even if I don't like a few of the things he said). As I mentioned last month, I've started to really take an interest in twentieth-century Church history, and I think this book is vital reading for anyone interested in that topic. And for anyone interested in learning more about a complex man who really was great in so many ways. I also really like the decision that Deseret Book made to include a CD-Rom with additional materials, including all the footnotes from the book as well as other documentation with further information about many of the things mentioned in it. The book as it is published is very readable, but then you can spend more time really exploring some of the issues it raises in greater detail. I've enjoyed reading both this book and the book about President McKay and they have only confirmed my belief that it we really must not forget the past, even if it only happened thirty years ago.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
This was our book group read for this month, and I was surprised by how much I liked it. I have been putting off reading it simply because of the fact that it has been so hyped up. Although it took a while to get into the book, I found myself really liking it. I even cried, and books rarely make me cry. This book is one of those rare ones that actually deserves the hype.
The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale
Remember Me? by Sophie KinsellaLike the last Sophie Kinsella book I read this was a quick, fun read. I liked the story idea better than the last one and I really liked the main character.
This movie was recommended to us by a friend, and since the cover was entirely in French we really weren't sure what it was about or whether it would be any good. Thankfully we were pleasantly surprised by how much we liked it. It's both funny and serious and just a nice portrait of growing up in a family with all the craziness that entails. It's not rated in the US, but we think it would probably be PG-13; I don't remember a lot of swearing, but there is plenty of talking about sex and drugs.
I checked out this movie because the plot intrigued me, but it turns out that the movie is really all about the acting. The movie does have a central mystery that is unraveled by the end in a satisfying way. That mystery is not as compelling as watching someone trying to reenter life after a long time away, especially her ambivalence towards her long-lost sister's attempts to reconnect with her.
Friday, October 02, 2009
I realized while walking home today that I've fallen into the trap of feeling too much guilt and responsibility. Lately I feel like everything I do is wrong, that everything is totally my fault, and that I'm an utter failure. The problem with this mindset is that it doesn't do anything productive. Instead, I just feel worse and go out and eat some donuts or vegetate on TV to avoid thinking about what an awful person I am. It really is all just mental. I need to take a deep breath and change my thinking. There are some things that I'm doing right and others that I could change. First of all, not all problems are solely my fault and I am not responsible for solving them all by myself. Second of all, just because I make mistakes or I fall short doesn't mean I'm a moral failure or that I can't fix things or try again.
Now that I've realized this and written it down, I need to try and put it into action. There are a few things I've been struggling with lately: the kids' routine, my budget, and my calling at church. Today I'm going to think about how I can realistically make some changes there and get a better idea of what I can do and what I can't. At least we don't have to get up and get ready for school for the next few days. I do know that I'm quite good at sleeping in and being lazy on Saturday mornings.