Friday, April 25, 2008

Let's call it a contest, shall we?

Next week, the top five American Idol contestants will perform the music of Neil Diamond. If this news does not compel you to clear your schedule next Tuesday night, then I'm not sure we should be friends anymore. Don't give me any of those mamby pamby excuses like "I don't have a TV," or "I'm allergic to rhinestones." You sit your skinny self down and you watch that show.

But before you do that, share your predictions* about which of Neil's masterworks the final five will sing. With so many hits to choose from, it's a tough call. But here's my lineup:

Wild card: Someone is going to sing Sweet Caroline , I just can't decide who. Could be David Cook or Jason. Maybe even David Archuleta (but I see that as less likely). Hoo boy this is fun! I can't wait!

Share your own predictions and you may just win yourself a valuable prize**. So go on, get predicting!

*You may find this discography helpful. And you can listen to most of his tracks here.
**I haven't thought it up yet, but it'll be good, I promise.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


So Daisy's family e-mail the other day wished Javich a happy birthday: "Today is Javich's birthday, " she wrote. "Happy Birthday Elder Javich!" I appreciated her sentiment, but I thought that she had lost it a little bit, because her e-mail was dated April 22, and as indicated on my previous entry, and on my birthday blog to Javich two years ago, JAVICH'S BIRTHDAY IS APRIL 21! I let it slide because Daisy is younger than Javich, so she wasn't around to remember when he was born, as I clearly do, so who can blame her for being off a day or two?

Javich's birthday has always been easy to remember because it's the same day as Earth Day. Every year I think about planting a lima bean or something and telling Javich I did it in his honor and that's his birthday present and I hope he likes it cause I can't take it back. But I never have.

I did notice this year that Earth Day happened on April 22. "Interesting," I thought. "I wonder why they changed the date."

And then, yesterday, on April 23, the family e-mail from my parents went out, wishing Javich a happy birthday "yesterday" (which would have been the 22), and I'm all: "PEOPLE! He's on a mission, but he's not across the International Date Line or anything. HIS BIRTHDAY IS STILL ON APRIL 21!" And as I was wondering who I could call to back me up, (Javich? Not available by phone. Parents? Already compromised. Other siblings? Could be risky. They're always coming up with false memories, like me stabbing them with a fork or whatever.) I finally conceded to myself that perhaps it's my memory that's faulty, and that the whole world (including the Earth itself) is not conspiring to change Javich's birth date. Maybe (just maybe) he was worn on April 22 after all.

So I am hereby posting the following correction:

Dear Javich,

I hope that on April 22, you enjoyed a very pleasant day in celebration of your birth. I planted a lima bean in your honor. I hope you like it, cause I can't take it back.

I still love you, even though you were born a day later than I (apparently) think you should have been.



PS: If you need more proof that I'm losing my mind, I'll confess that during my Christmas visit with my parents, I had a minor debate with Dad about where we lived when Javich was born.
(I guess it wasn't so much a debate as Dad telling me the facts and me not believing him. ) I said New York; Dad said Maryland. I allowed for the possibility (however slim) that Dad might be right, but I wasn't conceding until we'd had a chance to check the facts with Mom. Turns out Dad was right. At least my parents' memories are still intact, even if mine's not.

Monday, April 21, 2008


It's my little brother's birthday today. And even though I know he won't be checking my blog, I want it on the record that everything I said about him two years ago still stands. Except that he goes by Elder Javich these days, not Chuyu.

And he hasn't been dressing up like a bunny much lately, either. But whether in a nametag or a bunny suit, he's still the best little brother a big sister could have.

I love you Javich! Happy Birthday!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Perfect Storm

If I were to ask you to describe the conditions that would create the perfect storm of sacrament meeting disruption, you'd probably come up with some (or all) of the following suggestions:
  • a new walker (that is, a child who is new to walking, not a new assistive device) eager to show off
  • an un-corralled pew (that is, a pew not surrounded on all sides by other pews, such as the front row) to taunt the new walker with walkable open space
  • fellow worshipers with smiles and treats eager to lure the new walker away
  • a cane (the assistive device kind) placed seductively on the floor in clear view of the new walker
  • a high pitched baby squeal with every triumphant new walker step
  • loud complaints from a pre-schooler about the new walker having too much fun
And if you made any (or all) of those suggestions, I'd say you're off to a good start. But if you suggested dropping a handful of ball bearings on a wooden floor, I'd say you must have been behind us in Sacrament Meeting today. And for that, I apologize.

Our choice of seats (front row of chairs in the gym) was unfortunate. We realized that about four notes in to the opening hymn. Without pews to fence us in, Grace was a menace. I know it's par for the fourteen-month-old course, but trying to hold Grace on your lap when she has exploration in mind is like trying to kiss a shrieking eel. It's loud and messy, and you might end up with a bloody lip. Beware the mighty headbutt!

Still, I decided that moving the whole family after the meeting had already started would be too disruptive. And so we tried to contain our little tornado-in-a-dress where we were. I wasn't even particularly self-conscious about the first couple sprints up the aisle to catch her. Our ward's used to that kind of thing. We've all been there. And I could understand Grace's interest in Bro. Jones' cane. A big ole' stick, twice your height, just lying there on the floor? What self-respecting toddler would pass that up? How else would you find out what happens when you swing it around? (Answer: people gasp and rush to your side! Yay!)

But when Sam dropped his Barrel of Monkeys Keychain, which he'd filled (without my knowledge) with the steel balls from his Magnetix set, we crossed the line from amusing diversion to full-fledged meteorological disturbance. The worst part was the ward members jumping to our aid to crawl on the dirty floor and collect steel marbles. "Just leave them," I said. "I don't care if we lose them." But within 60 seconds, I had them all back.

I did not return the balls to Sam, much to his (loudly announced) disappointment.

On the bright side, since both children got all of their shrieks and wiggles out during church, they were perfectly cooperative for a post-church photo shoot. As you can see below.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Conference weekend in pictures

I thought I would compare Alton Brown's version of coconut cake to Paula's. Turns out I like them both a lot. But this one was definitely harder (took freshly shredded coconut, homemade coconut milk, etc.).

I'm a big fan of this block set. Sam and his friends who came over to watch conference made some pretty great towers. Later we made this city/train on stilts. It was freaking awesome, if I do say so myself.

Alaska* bought me this nice gift when she and the boss went to the yogurt store. In a new found coconutty mood, I had given them the direction to bring home something with coconut in it. Apparently not all coconut products are created equal. Who knew?

And finally, we got a piano! And boy were the missionaries surprised when they came for dinner and we told them before there woudl be any food, they had to carry the piano in our house. hee hee.
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Just some photos

If you're going to work in the mines all day, you might as well put on a happy face.

Why do I look so happy, you ask? If you had a brother who was so great at fashion design that he could create this whopper of an ensemble, you'd be happy too.

Left over from birthday time a couple months ago. Still. Needed published. Also, I need to start a cake blog, apparently.

Nothing like an indoor botanical garden on a cold winter day to help pretend it's summer.
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