Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Whole Lotta Family!

Well, it's been a mostly great vacation so far. I guess I'll just do a summary by days.

Wed. We went to the pool. Joseph had a blast! We swam for an hour, and he didn't want to get out when it was time to leave.

Thu. Joseph threw up in the morning and didn't want to eat much the rest of the day. He was happy, but a little clingy. He'd only go to Myles or me, not anyone else. I went to the store with Mom, got my workout in, and did my normal, daily stuff. I hung out with all my siblings and went to YW with Mara and Carmel. I took the opportunity to use the piano at the church too, because the one here is extremely out of tune!

Fri. Joseph was still sick, but he started feeling much better and got his appetite back by dinner time. He also started to warm up to more family members. We went out to eat at Danny's, where Sarah works. I had an amazing catfish sandwich. My night later on was not so amazing. I felt sick and threw up in the middle of the night. To top that off, I couldn't sleep worth a darn. I did finally get a project started that I've wanted to for a long time! After failing to install 2 different scanners, we finally got it all figured out. Mara helped me scan in all of Dad's old photos of ancestors. When I get back to ID, I'm going to turn them into a photo book.

Sat. I spent the whole day in bed. I felt exhausted and weak, so I lived on chicken noodle soup and toast and water. I read a little and dozed, but mostly just felt horrible (along with half of the family.)

playing with the seat belt

He loves his Uncle Myles.

epic chess tournament

baby Lars, who really isn't a baby anymore!

deciding to like Uncle Brinson

fun times with a straw

Sun. I recovered 100%! We went to church, Joseph had a nap, and now I'm here blogging. Joseph was an angel at church (for the most part) because it actually was NOT during one of his naps. Brinson and Sarah are coming over for dinner today. We're going to have some biscuits and gravy. YUM! Though we're going to eat them with noodles, because I'm not in the mood to make biscuits today...

I miss my kitchen! Even though I've been able to cook here, I just can't find anything. I think I own a lot more knives and cutting boards, because they seem to be in short supply here. They are seriously always dirty. I also miss my real eggs, milk, and homemade bread. Here, there are just regular grocery store eggs and low-fat versions of everything. I grew up on that, yes, but it doesn't taste good anymore. Oh well. I'm working on convincing everyone to change over to the real versions, but no luck so far.

The sound of a real thunderstorm is really nice. We don't get that in Idaho.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Travel Time

I really hate the process of travel. I love routine, but travel throws everything off. It's not that I don't enjoy being in a different place; it's the "getting there" that can really stink. However, our trip yesterday went well. We made it to Utah with no (further) problems from our faithful Corolla. Joseph took a nap in the car. Our flights were smooth and on time. Joseph took his second nap after 20 minutes of fussing. He was an angel (though an energetic one) on the second flight. By the time we got to Atlanta, it was 9:00 Idaho time, so Joseph sacked out on the flight from Atlanta to RDU. Wow, it was hot in Atlanta! Still 90 degrees at 11:00 p.m. So glad I don't live there!

My biggest challenge, besides getting Joseph to nap on that first flight, is not going crazy from having to eat yucky food. I was well-prepared, or so I thought, with 2 meals packed in our cooler, plus snacks. Too bad our pretzel dogs all got soaked with my water bottle that leaked everywhere. The tamales didn't get wet. Ironically, they all dried out somehow. Plus, they didn't taste too good cold. Basically, I give up trying to not buy anything in the airport. I got Panda Express in Denver and didn't feel guilty about it, because I tried. I guess I'm spoiled to have nice, hot meals every day of my life. I just can't stand the "cooler" taste by the end of the day. All the food I brought just didn't work out. Well, the snacks did, but you can only eat so many carrot sticks and apple slices. The only meal that I really like cold is sushi, so maybe I'll try it next time.

It's been a good day. Joseph is on Idaho time still, which I what I wanted. That means he sleeps at night from 10 to 9. Hurray! It works out great for everyone, since my family is notorious for staying up late. I cooked dinner tonight and plan to as much as I can while I'm here. My family started eating brown rice and whole wheat pasta! Awesome. I can't wait go to got to the pool soon. I also have some projects to work on. We will see how that goes.

Friday, July 22, 2011

This Week

I LOVE this goofball.
is a very happy week.

I saw Harry Potter 7.2. It's my new favorite movie, because it was epic and made me cry.

James is almost done with school and actually gets a break for 7 weeks!

We are going to NC next week.

I successfully made tamales and didn't take all day to do it.

Joseph has been sleeping in every day till 7 or 7:30. So nice! I've been less tired, since I've been getting 9 hours of sleep.

Our car only cost 63 dollars to fix.

The weather is nice and sunny. When it's hot, I have AC!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Good, The Bad, and the Family

We went to the Head family reunion this weekend Thurs. through Sat. It took place in the Bear River area near Preston, ID, which is beautiful. We were a few miles up a canyon.

I felt stressed from getting ready on Thursday without James being home, but I somehow got it all done with time to spare. The stress continued when Joseph screamed for half of the ride there and took a nap 2 hours late, and I didn't get a good night's sleep that night, thanks to the 3 year old who had a nightmare and the stuffy temperature in the room. Dinner was the highlight of the day, because I got to meet lots of new family members, including siblings of Grandpa Head and their families. And luckily, the next day got a lot better, despite my mental fog.

Friday was a tiring day, party due to lack of sleep and the fact that Joseph loves climbing staircases...and there were 2 of them! He was constantly finding new things to get into, and I didn't feel that I had the energy to run after him. Somehow, I did. I had a great time with the family touring a museum in Franklin, ID, that tells the history of the place. Some of the Head ancestors settled there in 1860. Cool, huh? We had a nice picnic lunch in the park. I went home a little early to put Joseph down for his afternoon nap and attempted to take one myself. No luck.

We had a family meeting about genealogy and memories of Nephi Head (Grandpa Head's dad). It was a great! James and Sam and Jesse got there in time for dinner, thank goodness, so I stopped feeling like a single mom. It was tough to spend the day without him, I'll admit. I'm really glad that he will have a profession that does not require travel. I depend on him a lot!

In the evenings, the cousins hung out and played games like Mafia and Smooching (so funny!). Those are some of my favorite times, even though I stayed up a little too late. James and I decided to sleep in the back of the van on a mattress, and it was perfect. We had a nice, cool breeze from outside...and peace and quiet! I slept in  Sat. morning until 7, because Jojo has ruined my ability to sleep in at all. He was an angel and slept his normal hours during the whole reunion. It was great. He had his own little closet, just like home. :)

Saturday was my favorite day. Even with the sleep, I was still tired, but I managed. We went to the historical site of the Bear River Massacre. It was really sad to read about, but it sounded like one of those typical Indian-settlers confrontations (though it wasn't the settlers, it was part of the army). We had another picnic, and it was blazing hot. I went home a little early to put Joseph down for his nap and finally used the computer. Amazing, technology is.

We went to church in Preston today. It was super fun to see things like the D.I., the Cuttin' Corral, and the chicken farm that are in Napoleon Dynamite. It's too bad that my iPhone died, so I have no pics. However, I know that my mother-in-law took lots, so I promise to get them from her.

Needless to say, I am SO glad to be home! The lack of privacy at the reunion was driving me bonkers. Maybe it's a selfish thing, but I absolutely have to have my own space to recharge away from people. It was in extremely short supply the last few days. When we got home today, I crashed for 2 hours. According to my calculations, that still leaves me about 2 hours short on sleep, but oh well.

My lingering impressions from the reunion are these:

I eat way too many chips when they're so readily available.

Cousins make some of the best friends in the world.

Joseph needs a haircut, because the number of times he's been called a girl now = 5.

I love family history! (Just ordered some 15-generation pedigrees that I'm going to fill out for James and me!)

I need solitude for at least at hour a day.

I need James.

I need sleep in order to be a successful mom. (Or at least a happy one!)

I'm go glad that families are eternal! James always says that heaven will be like one big family reunion. I like that. I have no worries either, because with glorified bodies, I won't need to worry about things like eating too many chips or getting enough sleep. :)

As a side note...I did not eat any treats! That took saying no to chocolate, brownies (2X) and cookies (2X), as well as the candy from the candy toss. Boo yeah! I think I'm going to do it till September and then take a little break to see how things go.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Swallow Your Pride

There are two sides to every sin. In Pres. Benson's talk, he references both the pride of "looking down" and the pride of those "looking up". I've wondered how the same sin can manifest itself in two completely different ways. Since all of our sins are caused by pride, what causes pride in the first place?

It comes back to our quest to subdue the natural man as we become saints. We have been commanded to keep the appetites and passions of the natural man in check, not to get rid of them or be controlled by them. When a person fails in this endeavor, he generally does one of two things.

1. Rebellion. Rebellion against God, according to Pres. Clark (BYU-I president), happens when a person follows neither the spirit nor the letter of God's laws. This person has a full knowledge of these laws but refuses to obey them. He doesn't want to. He does what he wants and lets appetite and passion control him. He is the man that "looks down", because he takes from others in order to puff himself up. Inside, he still feels empty. We look down on others to try to make ourselves feel better, but it doesn't work. In terms of physical nourishment, this is the man who eats to his heart's content all of the things that strike his fancy. He looks well-nourished (or even more than that), but he fails to supply his physical body with the things that it really needs.

2. Hypocrisy. Pres. Clark's talk defines a hypocrite as a person who obeys the letter of God's law but not the spirit. We don't want to be in the "rebellious" category, so we try a new tactic: belittling and comparing ourselves to others, because "they are much better people than we are." I've definitely been guilty of this, especially when I see others with their "lands and gold" and envy them for what they have. I also envy those who are further along in their talents, totally discounting what I've accomplished (because I'm not as good as "so and so"). These comparisons are prideful, because I've made the assumption that I deserve the same as what those people have. That's called entitlement, which is another sin in itself.

What does this accomplish? Instead of taking away from others to puff myself up, all I've done is to pretend that I'm taking away from myself to give to others. But I haven't done a thing for anyone else. All of these comparisons are still for my own self interest.

In terms of physical nourishment, these are the people on fad diets. They carefully control portions and absolutely hate anyone that can eat real food. They deny themselves nourishment in the name of good health and may look healthy, but they're never satisfied. They're always hungry for something that they feel they can't have and secretly hope that the people eating real food will somehow die young from heart disease.

Hypocrisy is a hard thing to spot. People on fad diets don't know that they don't work.

If pride is an appetite, just like hunger or thirst, then it's a necessary part of our lives. Pride results from a need to feel validated as a human being, just like malnourishment results from eating not enough of the right foods. We need something to feel satisfied so that we don't get too prideful -- on either end of the spectrum.

The only way to nourish this need is through truly giving to others in service. We've got a great antidote for pride right at home: our families. Where is there a better place to feel loved? I can't think of one. As the world  gets more individualistic, the amount of pride will skyrocket.

Serving others reminds us that our gifts and talents are useful. Without use, they wither away and die. There is no joy in having a gift that only blesses oneself. There is also no greater joy than seeing how our God-given talents can bless others.

Am I guilty of pride? Sure I am. But I'm working to create a nourishing, nurturing environment at home where no one will need pride in order to feel of worth.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Burning Bush

I have a goal to read all of the scriptures by  the end of 2012, which gives me a year and half. Right now I'm in Exodus, and the story of Moses is just fascinating. What struck me today was the symbolism in the burning bush.

The trials we go through are often likened to fire. Moses communicated with the Lord, whose presence was manifest by the burning bush that, although on fire, did not burn up.

Don't trials feel like that sometimes? When something hard comes along, we literally feel like we're going to burn up. But we don't. We grow. Maybe we should liken these "fires" to having the presence of the Lord in our lives. He is definitely in mine. :)

Sunday, July 3, 2011


I remember reading about Yellowstone and the huge fire in the 4th grade. Since then, I've always wanted to visit. Since we live so close, I told James that we HAD to visit before we moved away, so we made a day trip for our 2nd anniversary.

I was not disappointed! The trip went by really fast until the afternoon when we started having a tiny bit of car trouble. Luckily, we know what the problem is (radiator leak) and how to fix it, so we made it home in one piece!

We started our trip in West Yellowstone and made our way to Old Faithful, then through Jackson Hole and back to Idaho. It was gorgeous.
hot spring with lots of colorful bacteria

foul-smelling steam

a bison right by the road!

Old Faithful going off.

really cool clock in the Old Faithful Inn

gorgeous view of Yellowstone Lake

the Tetons from the WY side
It was a very exciting day! I sure missed my little guy.

Friday, July 1, 2011


Yesterday was a great day from start to finish.

1. Baptisms at the temple with James. There's nothing like having time to sit and ponder.

2. Eating lunch with James. He's not home most days for lunch. It makes my day so much better when I get to see him!

3. Amazing, not too hot weather. Out apartment didn't feel like Hades, unlike the day before!

4. Pupusas for dinner. James helped me make them, and I think they're one of my new favorite foods. They're simple, yet so satisfying to eat.

5. Sense & Sensibility. I love movies made from old books. They're awesome. I find this movie to be particularly emotional in a wonderful way. I'd like to think that I'm more "sense" than "sensibility"...but who knows? Maybe I'm somewhere in between.

The aforementioned hot day inspired us to try out Rexburg Rapids.


Joseph did not agree, because it was slightly breezy, so he was soon too cold. I love the lazy river. That was definitely my favorite part.

I almost bought one of the sewing machines at D.I., but I chickened out. Perhaps I will send James for me, and then he can call it an anniversary present. :) I don't know why it's so hard to spend money on myself. Maybe it's because I will feel obligated to learn how to sew!