The Smallest Thing

Jacob:  The smallest thing I am grateful for is the electron because electrons make my job and most of modern technology possible.

Marcia the Elder:  The smallest thing I am thankful for is DNA because I am amazed at how living things/beings grow and form and develop and change over time and how we get all of our unique traits.*

Marcia the Younger:  The smallest thing I am thankful for is this bowl** so that Corban doesn’t burn the house down.
Also, I am thankful for atoms because they make up everything.***

Hinckley:  The smallest thing I am thankful for is family, no, it is food.

Corban:   I think the smallest thing I am thankful for is the entire house.  Wait, it is bigger than us.  Uh, uh, I know, a mini-robot that is this small.****

*What a run-on thought!
**A wooden bowl where we put the knobs for the stove top ever since he lit a pan of brownies on fire causing a bit of an issue.

***This is where Jacob said, “That’s why you shouldn’t believe atoms, because they make up everything.”  To which, she did giggle.
****Pinching his fingers together with about a centimeter space.

Best Kind

Our responses to, “Would you rather live in a gingerbread house with the candy decorations or a house made of LEGO?”

Jacob:  LEGO because I like changing things and reconfiguring the house would be that much more fun.*

Marcia the Elder:  I guess we should get  a LEGO house.  It would be more structurally sound than a gingerbread house.  Can you imagine that first wind and rainstorm.  It would be one big soggy, sticky mess.  My family seems to want to change the house a lot…. Wait until they see that I may or may not have used Kragle on the LEGO house.

Marcia the Younger:  Probably LEGO because then I wouldn’t be tempted to eat my house.  Also, there are smooth pieces of LEGO to smooth over the floor.**

Hinckley:  LEGO because if we lived in a gingerbread house we’d be really tempted to eat our house, and them we would have no home to live in.  Also, because we could take our house apart if it was a LEGO house and put it back together and transform our whole house.

Corban:  The reason I want a LEGO house is because I want the floor to be flat with no studs.  That’s why I want to live in a house made of LEGO with you.

*Mar©ia pointed out that it would be easier to fix the gutters because you can just make stairs to reach the gutters.
**As often as she asks to rearrange her room, I am surprised that she didn’t mention this in her reply.

Tonight at Supper

I said I had a question and that I wanted everyone to answer.
Hinckley said he knew what I was going to ask, “Are all the chores done?”
I told him that while that is a good question, what I wanted to know was:

Would you rather be a centaur or a mermaid/merman?

Jacob:  Somebody told me that centaurs are all boys, so, I want to be a merman because I want to be where there are girls too, and not only smelly horse boys, and I don’t want to have to carry a baby (and give birth).

Marcia the Elder:  I would rather be a centaur because I know there’d have to be girls too, and I am not a swimmer, and there are holes in my eardrum, so, I think merlife would not be right for me.

Marcia the Younger:  I would rather be a mermaid because centaurs are always boys.

Hinckley:  I would rather be a centaur because it would be cool to gallop as fast as a horse.

Corban:  After much refusal to cooperate and asking him the question each time he said something that was not the answer, here is how he eventually responded:
          Seahorses can’t swim.*
          I don’t want to be a mermaid because I don’t want to be in water.
          I don’t want to be a centaur because I don’t want to go as fast as a horse.**
          I would rather PLAY WITH a centaur that’s alive because I would play Hide and Seek, and I would always want to be first to seek.

* This was after talk about part fish and part horse.
**Hinckley tried to tell him he could choose to not go as fast.

Who Knew the 4 Year Old Would Win

Jacob has a chess app on his phone, and the copyrights enjoy watching him play and are thrilled if they get a chance to try it.  The app simulates playing against Magnus Carlsen at his abilities at various ages.
Tonight Jacob let them each take a turn.

Corban seemed to not really have a method.
Hinckley thought he had a method.
Marcia seems to have a better understanding of the game.

They each played against “Magnus Carlsen (Age 5).”  As indicated by the arrow.

Arrow indicates:  “You defeated Magnus!”
He was pretty thrilled to have won.
The older two did not win or lose, they each had a draw, or a tie.

I think the best quote while he played was when he exclaimed, “I captured another pond!”

One Whole Decade

Mar©ia went to bed as a nine-year-old, and woke up ten!  We like to wake the birthday girl with bells in her doorway by singing “Happy Birthday” to her, I think she liked it.

Even if the picture is blurry, I love the smile on her face.
Her birth-minute picture:

Maybe another day I will finish telling the events of the day leading to her expulsion.

Ten Years Ago Today

I was was “released from partial bed rest*” and started eating all the things that people say would start** labor.  It didn’t seem to do much to help.  So, we kept to the plan to go into the hospital at 8:30 p.m. for them to start the labor process with a pill they planned to put next to the cervix***.  Turns out that when we went in I was having contractions every 3 minutes, but I didn’t know**** it.  With monitors attached, I was given Pitocin, and settled in to see how long it would last.  Sometime before midnight, the TV no longer could distract me.

* I had a friend go with me to a prenatal appointment a few days earlier (Jacob had a class), and being that we are good friends, we were talking as usual, this time about something that makes me mad, and so my blood pressure read a little high.  At the end of the appointment it was checked again, again after they left us in the room talking again, same topic.  So, they had me go over to L&D at the hospital for a couple hours of observation.  Most of the time my blood pressure was good, baby’s stats were good.  But when on certain topics, they didn’t like the BP.  I was sent home on partial bed rest and had to do a 24 hour urine collection.  They found no trace of protein in the sample.  The only questionable factor was BP during certain conversations.  So, my advice to new moms, avoid topics that make you mad for prenatal appointments; for me it was talking about selfish behaviors of certain people that occasionally affect my life.
** Turns out that those things that people say will “start” labor really only encourage labor that has already begun. 
*** It truly is all about the hormones.
**** I thought I just needed to pee every 3-5 minutes.  And having never been through labor before, I didn’t recognize that as contractions of early labor.

Beautiful Savior

I wrote this arrangement of “Beautiful Savior” (also commonly called Fairest Lord Jesus or the Crusader’s Hymn) and played it for our virtual Sunday church service.

The three variations invoke three different aspects of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ: The first variation is simple, based closely on a children’s version, reflecting the simplicity of the Savior’s message, and His love for little children. The second variation is full of flourish and technical passages, symbolizing wonder and amazement at the miracles He performed. The third variation is strong and sonorous, suggesting the power and majesty of the resurrected Jesus.

Kids Say

Some of my favorite recent kids’ quotes:
Marcia:  Everything pizza?  Even the dishwasher?*
Hinckley:  Remember when I was really good at swallowing my throw up?**
Corban:  I feel nice, but there are bones inside of me.

* Remember when it was “everything, including the kitchen sink”?
** This refers to when he was little and spit up so much, that he got really good at “choking it down.”

Give Thanks

Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is Joseph Smith because he translated The Book of Mormon and he restored the Church of Jesus Christ.
Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is Tommy Rivers Puzey because through his virtual running training he taught me to tolerate and sometimes even enjoy running.
Some people I have not met that I am thankful for are the scientists and others who are working on vaccines and treatments, because they give me hope that we can get out of this pandemic some day.

Marcia the Elder:
A group of someones I have not met that I am thankful for is strong women musicians like Pink, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Phillipa Soo, Linda Ronstadt, and the list goes on and on.  I haven’t intentionally left any out, this was just a quick, off the top of my head, start to the list.  I am thankful for their ability to share strength and vulnerability and support to others through music.
A group of someones I have not met that I am thankful for are people who can look at the world today, and then regurgitate the information in a way that makes me want to laugh instead of cry.  People like Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Ellen, Seth Myers, Tina Fey, Michael Che, Colin Jost, Sarah Cooper, Shane Burcaw, Eric Snider, Dave Chappelle, Amber Ruffin, and again, this list goes on and on.  Something something, “look for the helpers” something something “laughter is the best medicine” something something.  I may not always be in agreement with everything they say or think, but they can help brighten some darkness.
A group of someones I have not met that I am thankful for is civil rights activists, like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, John Lewis, Martin Luther King Jr, Bernie Sanders, Harriet Tubman, Jane Fonda, Elizabeth Freemam, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mamie Elizabeth Till-Mobley, Malala Yousafzai, Fred Rogers, and many many more.  Basically if a person stood up for the betterment of others without worrying more about the risks to themselves, then they make the list.  Again, “look for the helpers,” and “we are all in this together.”

Marcia the Younger:
Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is the farmer who raises chickens, because I can eat the chicken when it’s dead.
Some people I have not met that I am thankful for is the US military, because they keep us safe.
Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is Bruce Harris*, because he was the bishop and kept the church in town when Mommy and Daddy met.  And if they hadn’t met, I wouldn’t be here.

Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is Jocko Willink because he was in the military.  And because he was in the military, he was helping to protect everybody else.  I learned “discipline equals freedom” from him.  The moral of the story of “The Little Red Hen” is “discipline equals freedom.”
Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is the President-Elect because if there was no ruler for the country**, the country would have a lot of problems.
Some people I have not met that I am thankful for are the people that do the main jobs of the country.  The doctors, police, and firefighters that protect us***, because they keep the world safer, and they rescue lives when lives are in danger.

Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is Maui because he can break the Lava Monster’s arms.
Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is Eva**** because she’s a robot who can turn her hands into the tops of guns (to help Wall-E).
Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is Wall-E because he can turn into a box and he is a trash compactor to make cubes and he cleans the Earth. *****

* She has met him, but she was so little when they moved away, she has no memory of him anymore.  However, Jacob and I remember him and think of him often.
** Such wise words from such a young person!  He meant “for the country going forward.”  He remembers that we had an election this month for president, and he was concerned, leading up to the election, about what would happen if “no-one was elected.”
***Controversial or not (it is, but for the issue at hand…), there is a distinction made for those that help.  He has heard stories of ones that help and ones that do not.  Some of us have had personal experiences with a variety, I know I have.  The idea that there are any people out there that may cause harm, makes him feel sick, and so he is thankful for the good ones who strive to help.
**** This was originally Eve because “Mom’s mom’s mom’s mom’s mom’s…mom, all the way to the first one”
***** Oh, to have the innocent point of view of a four-year-old.