Dare to Do Right

We have a bedtime routine that includes singing a number of songs each night. 
Every attempt to decrease the quantity has been met with great resistance and tears.
We told them we can still sing the same quantity if they will sing too.  Sometimes we insist that they have to sing to us while we listen.
In an effort to help the children learn more songs we choose one song to switch in/out each week.  This week we are singing “Dare to Do Right.”
These are the words (with some of my own commentary/thoughts):

Dare to do right! Dare to be true! *
You have a work that no other can do;  **
Do it so bravely, so kindly, so well,  ***
Angels will hasten the story to tell.
Dare, dare, dare to do right;
Dare, dare, dare to be true,
Dare to be true, dare to be true.

Dare to do right! Dare to be true!
Other men’s failures can never save you.  ****
Stand by your conscience, your honor, your faith;  *****
Stand like a hero and battle till death.  ******
Dare, dare, dare to do right;
Dare, dare, dare to be true,
Dare to be true, dare to be true.

My comments:
*I think “true” can be multiple things. I think it can be about telling the truth. It can be about not deviating from a known path; similar to a bicycle tire, if it is wobbly at all it is called “out of true” and that is what I like to think of.
**Each person has their own set of strengths and weaknesses, as such, we each can do different things, and that enables us to be our own part of the whole.
***Sometimes making the right choice is not what other people want us to do, we can still do it, we can be polite about it, and we can still do it correctly.
****No matter what someone else does, we are responsible for our own choices and actions. Our success is not determined by the success or failure of another person.  We can cheer others on and not wish for them to fail.
*****What ever your moral compass is, stick to it; be honorable in your actions!
******While some battles end in death, I think this is a message of endurance. Do not give up. Fight the good fight your whole life through.

Humming is Happiness

Corban hums while he eats something he likes.* 
Corban got a full dose of stubbornness from his mom and from his dad. 
Corban has three favorite foods, chicken fingers, Gardetto’s, and popcorn.** 
Some days he decides that if what I make for supper is not one of those foods, he isn’t interested and will try to refuse to eat.  This forces us to get creative just to get him to take the first bite, upon which he realizes he likes the food and will eat, often requesting seconds. 
Last night was a night he said he “WILL NOT EAT THE NOODLES!” 
After further behaving in a rude manor and a timeout to calm down, he was invited to re-join us at the table. 
Everyone told him how they liked the food, and he insisted he would just sit and watch. 
Corban begged for buttered toast*** instead of the cheese burger macaroni shells. 
Corban loves cheese burgers****, and he loves sauces*****. 
We offered to let him eat his cheese burger mac with sauces, and he was sold! He was willing to try it, if he could have sauces. 
Then Corban hummed the rest of the meal!

*This reminds me of a particular little person that was at the preschool while I worked there.  Corban does not appreciate being referred to by that person’s name. 
**If we would let him, he would eat those exclusively everyday. 
***Another thing he really likes, because he knows how to put bread in the toaster and push the buttons.
****Sunday for supper we had burgers.  There were only a few frozen patties in the freezer, so I had purchased more on Saturday, in order to have enough.  I found some good dairy free cheese slices.  The meal was a success…mostly.  The newer patties were of a lesser quality.  It had not occurred to me that hamburgers might have filler-ingredients.  They didn’t hold their shape after being cooked, so, instead of putting the rest in the freezer or cooking them up to have as leftovers, I cooked it up like ground beef and used it for cheese burger mac.  That was the best use of that meat product, and I will not be purchasing that brand of beef patties again.
*****I have been having fun researching lots of recipes for sauces like honey mustard for example or dairy free ranch, and so far, those have been successful.

Give Thanks

I am thankful I was able to go on a mission, I was able to serve a mission in Russia.  It was hard because it was a lot of sacrifice.  I grew in faith and testimony, I met amazing people, and had life experiences you just can’t get in the United States.
I am thankful I was able to make the decision to leave a job that I loved.  I loved the work and the people, but there was something missing.  An opportunity came along that was difficult to take; but has proven to be the right decision for me personally, and for our family.

Marcia the Elder:
I am thankful I was able to push my babies out of my body, and it was hard because each one had a bigger head than the previous.  If they had never come out, I would be really uncomfortable!  I love them, and I learned that I can do really hard things, even while enduring a great amount of pain.
I am thankful I have been able to figure out how to work around our family’s particular set of allergies.  It has forced me to be creative and to research different ways to prepare food.  It is complicated and at times very hard to figure out, and I am glad that I have been able to be a resource to others who have come to need to make similar adjustments to their menus.

Marcia the Younger:
I am thankful I was able to make my first omelette, and it was hard because it didn’t make sense to me to wait for the toppings to “melt into” the egg, but I’m glad i learned because now whenever I eat an omelette I can have the satisfaction of knowing some came from me.
I am thankful I was able to not go back to the real school at the building, but I’m glad we are where we are because we are one step closer to getting rid of COVID.  We are first hand witnesses to 2020.

I am thankful I was able to help Corban do his chores, well, it’s good because I like to do service and when I do what I want, I feel good.
I am thankful I was able to memorize the first paragraph (stanza) of the poem “The Road Not Taken” because it let me earn two blue tickets because it gets me more options, or closer to more options to buying things in the Thurman Store.  The first paragraph goes like this:
     Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
     And sorry I could not travel both
     And be one traveler, long I stood
     And looked down one as far as I could
     To where it bent in the undergrowth;

I am thankful I was able to build LEGO houses, because…I’m glad I did it because I like to play with them, and the reason I like to play with them is because I like to make the LEGO people slide down into the seats.
I am thankful that when I can’t find my water cup, I can find my water cup.  If I can’t find it, it is in my bed.  I can find it under my pillow or blankets, because it makes me glad to find it, and I can’t stop it (feeling glad), and I eat my own food, all the food.

Give Thanks

I am thankful for the temple, where families are sealed together forever, and where I married my best friend.
I am thankful for my home office because that’s where I work to provide for my family, it’s where I study and learn a lot, it’s where I do some of my favorite leisure activities like playing chess and writing music.
Marcia the Elder:
I am thankful for the Grand Canyon because nobody fell in!  And because I enjoyed spending a week down in the there hiking among the beauty, while I was in college, and then a couple years ago we got to go as a family* with the Fairlie women!
I am thankful for the hospital where I birthed my children, because there are caring doctors and nurses, and I am so glad that I did not have to clean up the “Lake of Machu Picchu”** in my house.
Marcia the Younger:
I am thankful for libraries because they have lots and lots of books, and I love books!
I am thankful for Compton Park because the bridge is very good for riding your bike over and it has a beautiful “river” there.
I am thankful for our house.  I love our house because if we didn’t have our house we wouldn’t live anywhere, but we do have our house so that we have some shelter and a place to live.
I am thankful for the school because I need to learn, and the school is exactly the right place*** to learn.
I want to do what Hinckley said, but a little bit, a little part:
I am thankful for our house, well, because it has dishes.
I am thankful for Earth because it has a lot of houses, and a lot of people, and a lot of houses for that people.

* This was the only time Jacob had been to the Grand Canyon, even though he lived in Mesa, AZ for 14 years.

** The lake was so named by the midwife, because the older two children named the unborn Corban, “King of Machu Picchu” and he made a great lake during labor.
*** “Place” may be more of a concept than an actual location, because this year our kids are attending school online only. Here is the setup they have.

The “lockers”

Give Thanks

Eight years ago today, we welcomed this little guy into our family.

We are so very thankful to have him with us.  Every day he makes us laugh.  Every day he looks for something new to learn.

Today he chose to be baptized in the same way that Jesus was baptized.  There were 8 of us in the room where it happened.  With more than double that attending over Zoom.  I am also thankful for the ability to have virtual meetings where we can be together, and apart, at the same time.

Here he is with Jacob at his birth minute, only minutes before they stepped into the water.

There is joy in my soul today.

No Accounting For Taste

Corban is in an interesting phase.  He is trying out new combinations of food.  Tonight we had pancakes for supper.  He had his with margarine, bacon bits, and fruit spread.  All at the same time.  The other day he asked for a sandwich for lunch on toast, with margarine, mustard, and pepperoni.  And he ate all of those.  There are other combinations that I simply refuse to give him, like when he asks for sun butter and jelly with pepperoni, margarine, and mayonnaise.

Isn’t It Nice

…when you can successfully Rickroll your own children?

On school day mornings, in an attempt to expose the children to many different songs, we (honestly, Jacob is better at getting up first these days) wake them with a song.  Most of the time they haven’t heard of it before.  Sometimes they recognize it from a movie.  These last two mornings we have played Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

And they have been humming and singing it! It is a good thing they stay on mute unless they are supposed to talk for class.  Otherwise we might be inadvertently Rickrolling two online classes.


Last week we had parent-teacher conferences.  I can see from home how I think the kids are doing, so it was nice to hear from their teachers how they think the kids are doing.  Both school age kids are doing well and received good notes.  I cannot describe how much it warmed my heart to know how the teachers care for my children, or how it brought me to (good) tears to hear that a teacher is keeping an eye on faces and anticipates struggles to address before they become problems.  I know we are not alone in having a  stressful year, but a year ago, I didn’t know how relieved I could feel this time around.

Thank you to all the good teachers out there!  These parents love you!!

Rainbow Aliens

I have spent a lot of time around little humans. All my life. The older I get, the more I wonder what is going on in their heads.

There are (few) moments that I catch a glimpse of a memory that lets me remember a hint of what was in my mind as a kid.

I often ask the little people in my home what they are thinking. I always ask what they dream about, when I go wake them up.

Mostly they don’t answer. However sometimes they do!

There was a stretch of time that Marcia the younger would look at me, grin really big, and say “rainbow aliens.”

The best I could understand, after asking her to describe them, was she was dreaming about light fractals, as seen on The Magic School Bus. Hooray for Ms. Frizzle!

Now, she mostly tells about dreams that involve her kindergarten classmates. And her teacher. Oh, how we wish her teacher could move up to first grade with her…. More stories from kindergarten are in order. At a later date.

As far as the youngest goes, he never answers. Mostly all I can figure is that Corban dreams of milk and Daddy. And probably of trying to be like the older two, too.

Hinckley, though, he always has an answer. And recently, he has to tell me all about his dreams before I can even ask. Sometimes he insists that he has to tell me all the details before I am allowed to say anything. At all.

This morning was one of those mornings.

He dreamed about roller skating. With Marcia. And it “was the best dream ever!”