Monday, December 25, 2006
A new bed for Clarissa!
Sam, still, where to even start...
Jeremy, happy with his pickles.
Gavin, a new way to say stocking stuffer?
A pocket knife, really???? Why didn't Mrs. Clause know about that?
Harriette James Lawrence, trying to find her way to hampster presents:
Gavin, the sk8rboi, gets another year of snowboard school. At least snow is softer to fall on.
Thoughtful gifts and tender tears; Aunt Colleen, our new Primary President, gets a towel with all the kids handprints:
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Our most faithful tradition is Christmas Eve pajamas, stories, cookies and milk for Santa, and reindeer carrots. I think that we get more excited for the magic of Christmas Eve, then for the morning after. Reading the Best Christmas Pageant Ever, as if we didn't know what was going to happen to the Herdmans, or that something bigger would happen to everyone because of the Herdmans. Putting out reindeer bate, and watching for signs of Santa. Oh, how I hope that this magic will last forever. Alas, we must enjoy all we can now, for today will pass, and tomorrow will be Christmas!
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Saturday morning we had a family party for my dad's family. Grandma Jane and Grandpa Steve make every Christmas party so much fun. This is the time of year my kids love because it is the time that they see Grandpa and Grandma the most.
The party was really fun; I do enjoy my cousins, aunts and particularly my Uncle Eric. My step brothers and sister were also there. And Santa made a visit, which is always magical for my kids. He is a perfect Santa, the same every year, remembers the kids and makes Christmas really fun for them. I took the kids to see the twins after the party, and then came home with my family. I spent the afternoon resting, I just feel so worn down.
Wednesday, December 6, 2006
I am trying to get a scholarship right now, Brian is helping me the best he can. I have never known anyone in a relationship as content and happy and supportive as mine. I don’t have to have a scholarship, but I have a hard earned 4.0, why wouldn’t I try to get one.
Although to have Gavin in trouble at school, he is such a great kid. He knows what is right and wrong; it just makes me so sad today. I know this too will pass, and I am so thankful right now to have my brother and sister both in town to help with the babies, I enjoy my time with them, and soon enough I won’t need to go help, I will miss this. I just have to keep perspective on the whole situation, even in the exhaustion that I am feeling. My brother Jake needs me to help with the babies in the evening, Suzie will only be here until Friday morning, and I will only be able to help with the twins for so long, and then I will go from time to time. I am very thankful that I can do it and that Brian is so supportive of it. This too will pass.
The positive thing that I look forward to this day is this evening I am taking my kids to a book fair at their school, then to the public library to a book reading by Judge Andrew Valdez from the 3rd district Juvenile Court, he has written a book called, “No one makes it alone”. I think that I will take Gavin with me. I know he is not trying to make trouble, and he is really scared right now from making a mistake at school. I have tried to spend time with each of the kids individually right now. This will probably be a good thing for him to do with me. Then I am heading out to my sisters again for the night. I will go down this Thursday, and then maybe Saturday, staying home Friday. I will figure out next week when the time comes. The holidays are coming. I am almost caught up in my classes. I have a rhetorical presentation to give on Thursday AM in my writing class, and a final in Math on Monday morning. Then I will just enjoy preparing for the holidays with my family. This too will pass. The bottom line is what my sister read to me today from the Reader’s Digest, “If you go into life with a good attitude, you will get more out of it.”
Tuesday, December 5, 2006
My test answers for ending values for future reflection:
How balanced are your totals now? How balanced is your life now? What has changed about your life since the first values scale?
My total really reflects how I would personally score each in importance to me. I think that for me the balance is great. I actually believe that my scores regarding areas of less importance to me; wealth and renown went down more, and my scores in areas of great importance; family, humanity, spiritual, went up. Actually the greatest difference to me is I think that having spirituality being the highest score was surprising. I think that much of the influence of this class really pushed me to put a lot of things in perspective and helped nudge me back to the road that I needed to be on. Very cool!!
What has changed about my life? I listen to my kids more, to what they are really saying, to what maybe is behind what they are saying to me. I let them know that what they need is very important to me and that I want to help them to achieve the very best. I am definitely a more positive person. Our home is more positive and we don't focus on the negative as much. I really feel like a whole happy person, I was not in a good place when I first started this course; I had a difficult summer, leaning toward some things that would not be the very best for me. I also noticed that my control value went down a bit. I am not so concerned about what I have control of. I take things a bit easier now.
Aesthetic: I think that not too much has changed other than I really do look more for art in so many areas. I see appreciation in art that I didn't see before, but I also look at the world, homes, gardens, roads, buildings, mountains, and see a great deal of beauty in them. I also recognize that beauty is in everyone beholding, each person has a different way of seeing, and each way is independently right for that person.
Control: I was and still am quite controlling, but I have been able to let go of a lot of things. I think part of this is because I have learned to focus on other values and find true happiness independent of what I control.
Creativity: I love creativity, but found that I am not as in love with this value as I thought. I think I really value it but it is not the central aspect of everything I do. I have interest in to many other areas to really focus on it. I think I could say I appreciate creativity, but don't really participate in it daily. I did also learn that creativity flows over into many parts of life, not just "artistic" creativity as many would think.
Family: My family is so important to me. When I did the value beginning it was really low because I answered the questions about my parents honestly and some of those answers were 0. It really put a perspective on things for me. It was discouraging to think that I don't value family. Family is in the top three of my values, and rightly so.
Humanity: This is one of my top three. I took a humanities course a year ago and it pleases me that humanity is one of my highest values. It is an area that I would be interested in future study in my education. I also feel that it is a part of my integral life. I believe and love the value of humanity.
Physical: Still low, probably lower. Just not something that I focus much on, and it is not really something that I worry about. I have a greater awareness of being healthy, but the whole aspect of the physical value is not that important to me still.
Renown: This was also a lower value for me. I do think that through the course I came to better understand this value, and I even respect it as being an important value. I particularly find it important if it motivates people to do good because of how they will be remembered.
Social: I love to socialize. The value is one of my lower ones, probably because if I had to choose something social over being home with my family, I would walk away. I am good at socializing and being social, but I just don't find it to be that important. I can go to a party, even throw a good one, but I like quiet time.
Spirituality: This value really changed in me. I was questioning religion and my value of it strongly and this course really made me reflect and think about my spirituality in a way that I have not for a long time. I also think that the experiences with the movies and books really impacted my life.
Wealth: Low, still low. This is important to me in the hope that I can provide well for my family but otherwise not really something that I value. I just don't think much of being wealthy. I have been really poor in my life, and now have a pretty nice life. We barely make ends meet each month and don't look for a lot of extras, but I don't really think about it and I am really happy. When we don't have something, or can't do something, I don't make a big deal of it so I don't think that my kids worry much about it either. Wealth can be good, and it can be evil, but I don't think it has anything to do with the actual wealth. The value of it is just low for me.
In my writing I struggled with mainly how to narrow a subject to a specific detail or issue. I seem to always want to present more than is necessary and make my writing difficult to engage in. I used a great deal of input from my peer group to grow a couple of really good ideas and scrap the rest. Specifically, Michelle advised that I write the article using the move that I am writing from a woman’s perspective. I thought that was clear in my original draft, but come to find out it was not. I definitely incorporated that into my second draft. I also needed to specify that I was writing about the fun that our family had on the adventure, rather than to cover so many other alternate arguments, such as secondary trails, or alternate ways to explore the area. I needed to stick to my issue more clearly.
My peer group also suggested that I address the issue of safety. I seem to say it is a safe, fun, family event and then drive some laughs by writing about the “scarier” aspects of the sport. I need to address the transition better to lighten and at least advise on my feelings and reaction to the dangers, especially if I am appealing to the family fun aspect of four- wheelin’.
I used most of the advice given to me, specifically to keep with a voice throughout the paper. I did not address the specifics of safety, because I chose to take out the quote context from Todd Kaderabek and specifically address the issue of it being a fun event for our family. I decided to stick with the folksy travel voice. This would work best for the audience that I will be addressing. I still think that my paper will require a few additional peer reviews and some serious consideration prior to submitting it to the magazine. Much that I included for the classroom style argument will be deleted and I will generally address the travel adventures of the Cruise’ Moab event.
In the beginning of the course I wrote that good writing was writing that is easily engaged in by a reader. I still believe that good writing has to have a few specific elements. It has to appeal to a specific audience, the audience that is intended for the writing. Writing has to be written in a way that the reader does not have to struggle to involve or interest themselves in the reading. And finally, writing has to be interesting and address the issue in a way that keeps the interest of the reader. I think that with so many different areas of writing that the concepts taught in this course really have given me a better foundation for writing. I will be thinking of so many more things than I would have before, which will only help me to be a better writer, specifically things such as the scene, the audience, the way that my words impact the reader, and the opposing viewpoints, to name a few.
I have really enjoyed the visual rhetoric concepts in my research and writing. This too has influenced me greatly. I specifically really began to understand alternate viewpoints using the cartoon in the book on page 81. I better understand angle of vision and writing to a specific audience. I also was better able to understand a lot of other areas when I engaged in visual rhetoric.
For my presentation I plan to use a visual rhetorical move to present the process of writing as an adventure. I want to engage my topic, my issue, but not really talk about my issue, only use it to make a point in my presentation.
For my final researched argument, I plan to create something that is light and interesting, using humor to engage readers in the idea of wheelin’ being a family fun adventure. I will submit the article in January to Toyota Trails for possible publication.
Monday, December 4, 2006
Today was great. My sister is in town and we really enjoyed the time together today. We are going to head down to my sister’s house and then Suzie will stay there until Thursday. I will have some time to catch up on some school work and rest a bit. I plan to spend some time down there with her and Jake taking care of the twins, but it should be easier with three of us taking shifts. Tonight we took the kids to Modern Display to get a Christmas ornament, this is our tradition. Every year we buy a new ornament for the kids for Christmas on the first Monday of December. And we decorate the tree. It is really fun to go through the ornaments and remember each year and the trips to Modern Display. The kids are so excited for the holidays and all the fun that goes along with them
Friday, December 1, 2006
Tonight is our ward activity. I will head back to my sisters house afterward for part of the weekend. Gavin is going with me to help with the babies so that Jake and I can take turns sleeping tonight. I had to take Jeremy into the doctor this morning; he has a growth on his face. I thought it was no big deal, but when we got there the doctor gave him a shot and used a scalpel to remove the growth right there and then. He said he needed to do a biopsy on it and that he would have the results in a week. I think I am going into shock, he is only five years old, what could it be! It just seems unreal right now to be dealing with so much on so little sleep. I am trying to think positively and find many things to be thankful for, even in these seemingly nightmarish trials. I know that it could be worse and am not asking for anything more, just being grateful and finding something positive in each thing right now.
December 2, 2006
Today we had a family party. Afterwards I had Gavin stay with Jake for the weekend so that I could spend a couple of nights at home with Brian and my kids. So much I could write about and probably should, but I am so tired. I am just glad to be home tonight.
December 3, 2006
Today I slept some of the afternoon. My brother and sister in law had us over for dinner; it was really nice of them. Tonight is Mark Millers Managers Christmas party at the Country Club. It is always a nice party and excellent dinner and entertainment. Last year Brian was the winner takes all for the Texas Hold’em tournament. He is reining champion and nervous about playing tonight, since he keeps getting an earful at work. It should be really fun. My sister flies in from Arizona tonight for the week. She will be here for to help with the twins. I am hopeful to get caught up on school, but realistically I will probably just get further behind with all the family running around this week. It is finals week, my presentation is due, I have a lot to catch up on, and I am way behind in Math. There you have it….I am hopeful, but hopeless, tired and praying for strength to catch up and catch my breath.