Sing Sing Sing

The practice went well I think, Jacob thinks so too, at least that is what he tells me.  It has been a while since I have been excited for a choir program, I like being excited for them.

Karen has spent all year working on a top secret project and is in the final stages of the project when it decided to revolt against her.  So we went over to help her get this done, and mostly it works ok.  But it takes up too much space on a DVD and refuses to be read, so we will have to split it in two.  It is a good thing I enjoy the kind of project this is.

*I am writing this after the fact as though it is current, and pre-dating my post. As it is my site, I reserve the right to do so.

Time To Make The Donuts

Today I babysat Aiden while I was trying to paint, I am not sure if this was a fun day since she has been testing her limits trying to see what she can be boss over.  She asked me if I would put some mayonnaise on her oatmeal.  I told her I would not do that, and she said that she likes it that way. I told her that was too bad I would not put it on her oatmeal, and came to realize she was asking for marshmallow cream, not mayonnaise.

We made homemade donuts for our Semi-annual Saturday Ward Choir practice and breakfast, tomorrow.  The first happens right before Easter.  It will be a good program.  The donuts are a family recipe that we used to make when I was younger.  I believe it was my Grandma Bellamy’s.  They are yummy.

*I am writing this after the fact as though it is current, and pre-dating my post. As it is my site, I reserve the right to do so.

What A Blast From The Past

This morning I was supposed to go visit teach, and when I arrived, she was gone, in fact everyone was gone, they already left for vacation.  I wonder if I already knew that and just forgot, wouldn’t surprise me.  So I went to see another friend that I have had trouble catching at home for a while. We had a good visit.

I mentioned before that our friends the Frisbies are moving.  They have lived here for about 5 years.  Today I went over to offer a hand and hold babies so she can pack or pack so she can hold a baby.  In any case there was a lot more talk than pack.  As I was sitting holding one of her boys I saw a Christmas picture sitting next to me so I picked it up** and told Brittany that she looks really familiar to me.  I looked at her first name and asked what the maiden name is.  And would you believe that one of my MTC companions is her good friend!  Anyhow, I had lost touch with her***, so it was nice to see that she has a family.  Brittany called her and left a message and she called back, so she and I got to visit for a few minutes.  That was nice.  I have missed her.  We exchanged emails, and I have given her the address to this site, and I hope that we can keep in touch****. Brittany and I encouraged her to start a blog as well.  Now if only I had seen the picture on Brittany’s fridge a few years ago…


Hermana Makai, Hermana Prickett, Hermana Gold
*I am writing this after the fact as though it is current, and pre-dating my post. As it is my site, I reserve the right to do so

**Yes, I am nosey

***Yes, I have gotten lazy in the pen-pal department

****Even if this is the main medium

Some Times I Feel Like An Intruder

Last Friday our friend, Howard Kalwies passed away. Today was his memorial service. It was a good service. There were good talks, and beautiful musical numbers. Jacob played the organ and accompanied (on the piano) the violinist, Karen Martin. She played/s so beautifully. It makes me wish I could learn to play.

As I listened to the speakers share their tender memories, I felt just a little uncomfortable. Not that a funeral or memorial service does that to me, but Howard was not a close friend of mine. So, I did not know him as well as those who spoke knew him. And as they shared their stories with us I felt as though I was eavesdropping on a private moment. It made think.

His daughter Catherine is my age, and she and I would hang out at camp. She lived in Illinois, and I in Iowa. There was one summer at camp that we were out “heart attacking”* other campers’ tents. There was thunder in the air, and it hadn’t started raining just yet. It was very late at night, (possibly “early in the morning” would be a better way to put it) and we were trying to stay hidden. We saw headlights, and we dove into the trees closest to us to hide. You would never guess where we landed…that is right, the compost heap. As soon as the cost was clear we headed back through the trees to our camp site. We got there just in time for the car to pull up and tell us that there was a huge storm headed our way and every body needed to head to the lodge to sleep for the rest of night.

The storm came and went, in the morning there were branches all over the place, some tents were blown in (these were army tents), many things were wet. It was an adventure.

We talked about this memory as we ate lunch, and Catherine said it perfectly, “Funerals make great reunions.” It is true, while we may not be able to escape regular life for a birth or a wedding, most people are able to get away and pay respects to the deceased. I am sorry for the occasion, but it was nice to have such a gathering of Howard’s family and friends.

* Heart attacking (for those who may not know) is a friendly alternative to toilet papering. You cut out a bunch of hearts and tape them to the people/tents/bedrooms/houses/cars. You can even write nice little messages on the hearts if you feel like it. A fun idea for Valentine’s day or an anniversary-don’t forget the person’s favorite candy. One other alternative is to use little twigs and paper and make mini-teepees (generally filled with candy-you can use suckers for the posts) and put them all over and leave a note that informs them they have been TP’d (only leave the note if you think they may not understand the pun).

Funny Funny Kids

Today I was at the preschool again, which means I had a fun day. Here are some fun things I heard from the young’ins.

For sharing time:

Boy S-Age 4: (Standing with his hand in his pocket) It is a mystery, you have to guess what I have.

Child 1: Is it a rock?

S: No.

Child 2: Can you eat it?

S: Yes.

Child 3: Is it a hotdog?

S: No.

Child 4: Is it broccoli?

S: Yes! It is broccoli that looks like a ninja. (Takes hand out of his pocket and opens it to reveal his imagination, and proceeds to show the rest of the kids one by one his hand. Most of the kids play along)

Boy A-age 4: Rolls his eyes while saying “Cool” very unenthusiastically.

Girl R-almost 5: (Feeling the need to make him realize it isn’t there, yells) Your hand is empty

S: (Just continues on, because he knows it is pretend. Half way around the circle, he tells the kids…) It is cooked, smell it, it is good. (At the end of the circle he carefully places his ninja-broccoli in his pocket and sits down.)

It appears that he on a regular basis has an imaginary share item-I wonder if he chooses this ahead of time, or if he just forgets to bring a real thing….

In the middle of this broccoli presentation, Boy L-age 3 has some trouble sitting still, so the teacher asked if he needs to leave the circle, He responds, “Yes” and gets up with his share item and walks away and put his item away. That was indeed a good response for him, he had been having a bad morning.

On the playground:

It was chilly/windy and we had the children wearing their jackets/sweaters. Girl A-age 2 had a broken zipper on her jacket, she came up to me and told me, “Take your pockets out of your hands.” A few minutes later she came up to me and was cold, so I told her to “put your pockets in your hands.” She placed her hands in her pockets and played for a while before taking them out.

Boy L-same one from before: I’m trying to hurt my friends because I’m a pterodactyl!

In the room, while playing in the dress-up area…

Boy S-same as above: Give me a shot, I’m sick.

Me: OK, I’ll give you a shot. Where do you want it? In your arm?

S: Yes. (Lays down on the couch like it is the Dr’s table)

Me: Give me the needle. (it is the plastic pretend syringe that doesn’t have any sharp parts)

Teacher overhearing him calls out: In the cheek

S: (Sticks his tookus up into the air) Do it slower.

Me: (I proceeded to give him a slow shot into his arm)

S: Thank you, I feel better now.

Up in the loft Boy C and Boy Y were playing (both age 3) and C was saying, “Knuckle head” over and over. It was clear that he was meaning it as a fun term of endearment, and Y didn’t mind at all. That is good, because Y generally has really tender feelings.

I was at the Preschool yesterday as well, and one of the teachers had to leave in the middle of a book, so I finished reading the book. It was Click Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin. Her books are great! While I was reading, one little boy, Boy J-age 3, asked me, “What is an ultimatum?” After I answered that, he asked, “Why was Duck a neutral party?” He seemed content after that to let me finish the book.

A week or two ago when I was at the preschool, a little girl asked me to read her a book Froggy Plays In The Band by Jonathan London. This is another author I really enjoy. When I got home I had to tell Jacob about the book and he seemed interested in it. So, I went to every bookstore I passed after that, hoping that I might find the book. After more than one week of searching and many stores later I found one copy in Iowa City. I would have liked to have found 3 copies….

You Never Know Just What a Kid Will Say

I spend some of my days subbing at a preschool on the local college campus. There is one little girl there that is currently 2 yrs 9 months old. Last winter and spring she called me “Jerry” and had other adults that help thinking it was my name. She did learn my name, and I like to quiz her to see what all she knows (I do this with all the kids). Yesterday while we were outside playing, I was holding a baby, and she came over to me to see the baby. I was quizzing her on what different animals say, and here are a few of the questions and answers:

Me: What does a monkey say?

Her: ooooo oooo aaah aaah

Me: What does a doggy say?

Her: bow wow

*after many more animals, I tested other things*
Me: What does (child’s name) say?

Her: I talk

Me: What does a teacher say?

Her: I love you

Me: What does a Mr. Scott (one of the preschool teachers) say?

Her: Time to put our books away, books away, books away, time to put the books away and lay down for our nap *I am not sure if that is how the song goes, but that is what she hears*

Me: What does mommy say?

Her: I am proud of you

Me: What does a police car sound like?

Her: (in a deeper voice) Come with me, you are going to jail

I really like this job. Most of the kids remember me from time to time that I work which is great since I am not there “regularly” and I just can never be too sure what will escape their mouths.

Last spring one of the little girls got a new baby sister, and on one of the occasions that I was there and holding said baby, the big sister was cooing at the baby. One of the other little girls, who is an only child, came over while big sister was playing with baby sister, and told me that she wants a baby sister. I told her to talk with her parents about it. They got a pretty good chuckle out of the story.

I am a Big Slacker – I Mean Packer

We have been in the middle of a move across town. So while I have been packing I have been slacking on this blog site (if only that were the only area in my life). Now that the packing is done perhaps I can keep myself on track with this. We’ll just have to see about that, considering we still have to UNpack.

I have some slide shows I need to show-off, however my computer seems to shut off when I try to render video to a different format now.
More videos to come as soon as possible, but here are some pictures.

Mallory’s Birthday Party:

Every time I turned around this is what I found:

The first slide show is from May, my niece’s (Lydia) birthday at the zoo. For some reason my video editing software hates me and all I could accomplish to add at this time is this video and one of Gavyn playing in the water at the zoo, and an orange baby.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wJrN9rEdFE[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSCZdnJFM6A[/youtube]
The next day we went to Lockridge, Iowa to see my Uncle Shannon and his wife Vy:

Noah and his parents Martin and Ashley

Kite Flying Fun with Dan (and Jacob too):

This is really turkey for brains – ground turkey that is. Jacob said it came out of the package that way.

Dave Wetmore was the Grand Marshall for the Macomb Heritage Days Parade! There were two bagpipe bands.

This is “not someone playing with” my camera on 4 July 2007:

cousins

Both of RondaJo’s girls seem to love doing this:

Water time:

The girls made it look so fun, Matt had to give it a try:

Fireworks:

Imagine going on a Youth Conference to serve food, ten years after you graduate high school. Upon arriving and seeing the youth get on the buses, you discover that one of the bus drivers is none other than your high school principal. That is right folks, Bob Bowen is a bus driver for Burlington Trailways:

The first day of this conference was my birthday (12 July – in case you were wondering) and this was the beautiful evening sky we saw:

With all the crazy gas price fluctuations, we all “know” that gas is “cheaper” in Missouri, however while in Kansas City, MO I was surprised to see these prices:

$31-32 for a gallon of gas???

I apologize for such a long entry, and promise there are more videos to come as soon as I get the computer to work with me.

2000 miles and counting

2000 Miles on a bikeThis picture was taken yesterday, about 5 miles south of town. It’s the odometer on my Trek 1000 road bike, crossing over 2000 miles. I bought the bike about a year plus 2 weeks ago, so basically I’ve ridden 2000 miles in just a bit over a year.

So, for a year of road biking (this is my first road bike – always rode on mountain bikes before), here are some of the highlights:

Biking with horses

One day last summer, I was riding north of town when I passed a farm that had several horses in a very large enclosed field. I’d often passed this place, and the horses would usually stand there and watch me go by. This time, they decided to run with me.

Horses are generally much faster than people. A pro racing cyclist might be able to produce 3 horsepower of energy for a couple of seconds, but will only be able to sustain about half a horsepower for any length of time. (A horsepower is about 750 watts. Lance Armstrong could sustain 400 watts for a long time, and could hit 2000 for just a couple seconds in a sprint). I’m far from a pro racer, so I wasn’t even doing that. Yet the horses weren’t just running as fast as they could to run away, they were running right alongside me, just a few feet away.

When we got to the fence at the end of their enclosure, the horses slowed and stopped, but looked at me as if to say “just remember, we could drop you.”

My First Century

In cycling lingo, a ride of 100 miles is called a “century.” I rode one last July, taking the better part of a saturday to ride to Nauvoo and back with another cyclist I’d met during one of the local club rides. I was actually surprised at how tired I wasn’t. I thought I would be exhausted and in pain by the time we got back, but I actually felt pretty good. We did the century in just over 6 hours, which I’m told is a pretty respectable time.

Fastest I’ve Ever Gone

Last fall, the local cycling club went for a ride that included a big hill out by a rock quarry. A friend challenged me to race DOWN the long, reasonably steep hill. On the way down, my top speed was over 52 MPH (84kph). It was both exhilarating and terrifying at the same time – imagine the damage it would cause to crash at that speed, especially wearing typical road bike clothes, which don’t offer any protection from road rash at all. I later joked that if I ever do that again, I’m taking my helmet off first so that if I do crash, I likely won’t live to deal with the aftermath.

Oh, and I lost the race. Archie topped 55 MPH that day.

So, a year of serious road biking, and I’ve done some interesting things. This next year I hope to do another 2000 miles (or more!) and have even more fun pushing myself, staying in shape, and making new friends.

Our Belated Honeymoon Notable Pictures

<-- This is a really cool shot I took standing at the base of the St. Louis Arch. Then I turned the lens straight across to the other base for this shot.–>
That was our first night.

The next day we went to Union Station to watch the Fudgery Show. Amazingly we escaped the mall with little money spent, we did buy a really cool tie for Jacob.

Day three we went to the Science Center and unfortunately for us, most of the cool things were closed for repairs/remodeling. However there was a cool room that made Jacob look really small and myself really tall.

On day four we went to the zoo. No entrance fee, and we got there early enought to get free parking!!! We stayed till closing time and loved the 78 degree November day. I have already posted the funny video from the Ape House, but right before the woman said that, she and her 3 friends had just walked into the room.
<-- This silverback saw them and as soon as they stepped close to the glass, he lunged at them and stopped just short of hitting the window. They screamed and we all had a great laugh. The best part of it was the look he gave them.
We were walking and enjoying the animals and for a short time it was cool to think about Erin in Africa and how she got to see a giraffe up close when we have to stay so far from the animals. I think this is a really pretty creature.

Fifth day we went to the City Museum. In theory it is pretty cool, in reality too. Except for the fact that I am grossed out by dirty things…. It is a maze made of recyled objects, some is art-like and others just play equipment. I am sure that they clean it well, but because I know it is old “trash” it kind of creeps me out. That evening we saw Spam-A-Lot. That was a really cool show. Thanks DC for reccommending it.

We decided to extend our stay one more night and had a relaxing trip home on day six.