Monday, September 29, 2008

Menu for the week

Everyone is so awesomely organized and has posted their menu for the week. Thus, here is mine:

Menu for the week:
I don't know.

I do my menus in months and it's October in a couple of days so I don't have one organized. It's on my "to do" list though. haha. I'll get to that the 15th or something. =D

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday Scripture

Alma 29:1-3

O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!

Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.

But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me.

Fleur's Translation:

I wish I could tell the whole world with great power so that everyone would listen to me, "Hey! You lot! Will ya just be good already?? Follow Christ!" Because I know that if everyone in the world followed Christ there would be no more sorrow. Ever.

But I'm not an angel, and I can't speak with great power, and there's not a whole heck of a lot of people that listen to me. Maybe wishing this thing is prideful and that's a sin. I should be happy with the life the Lord has given me.

He hasn't made me an angel, but he's made me a mother, and that's just as important. Maybe more important in the long run. So I won't shout out with power to the whole world, but I will try to be humble and Christlike so that perhaps because of my little example, maybe one or two people will want to follow Christ themselves.

I am soooo evil.

Ok, so, I walked into the chapel a minute late and headed for our usual seat (right up front. Don't know why, I just like it there.)

And guess who was sitting up front right next to Emily? Yeah, David.

So I'm having a hard time keeping the smile off my face. =) I plonk myself down and David leans over and whispers "Wanda's not here so I'm sitting with you, k?"

Like as if!!!! He's not sitting with our family at all! Let's be clear about this. He's sitting with EMILY. =D (Wanda, btw, is his step-mom)

Emily and I share a happy little smile when David's not looking. =)

Sooooo, the sacrament comes and I'm trying to help Andrew be reverent. He's lying down with his head in my lap looking up at me. I say "Andrew, are you thinking about Jesus?"

"Yeah" He says.

"What are you thinking about Jesus?" I ask. When I asked Emily this when she was five, she replied, "I'm thinking about Jesus in the garden of Yosemite." =D =D So I ask Andrew what he's thinking about all the time to see if he'll come up with something equally as cute.

He replied, "Jesus gave his body for us."

Oh my good gravy! Can you believe that? Is that not the cutest thing? I was pondering on the significance of this when Andrew, still looking up at me, piped up,

"You have a booger in your nose."

Wonderful. =)

Soooooo anyway, later on I notice out of the corner of my eye that David and Emily are holding hands. This makes me smile. =) A few minutes later David takes off his jacket and rolls up his sleeves.

I want you to know, I really really really tried really hard not to say it. I really did. But it was so irresistible! I HAD to say it.

So I did.

I leaned over and whispered to David, "If you don't want to get so hot, quit holding hands with my daughter in church."

The poor boy! He was so embarrassed! He laughed because it was a great comment, but he went red. I'm wicked I tell you! Evil! Emily later gave me a high five for the brilliantness of that comment, even though it was evil.

So then he gets up to bear his testimony, because that's the kind of guy he is.

Half-way through his testimony he says "Sister Brooks said....." and right at that moment I'm thinking:

1. Please don't tell everyone the comment about you holding hands with my daughter
2. Please don't tell everyone that Andrew announced I have a booger in my nose

But instead he said " Andrew "Are you thinking about Jesus?""

He said that it froze him because he hadn't been thinking about Jesus right then, and also it reminded him of his mother. He said his mother used to ask him that all the time.

This is where I lost it and started bawling. His Momma died four years ago and he's still hurting. The fact that I had said something that brought back sweet memories of his Mum...oh my. What an honour.

When David sat down, Ben congratulated him on making me cry. My children think it's awesome when I bawl. I have no idea why. They're probably as evil as I am. =D

I'm telling you, having your daughter date is SO much fun, especially when they date a man like David. All you parents with younger children, just you wait. It's tough right now, but when your children get their heads screwed on straight and start dating really great people, it's AWESOME and tons of fun. You'll find yourself giggling just cos your children are so happy. =)

And now, I must go find a nifty Sunday Scripture.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Notes on the amazing General Relief Society Meeting

Food beforehand:
Lettuce salad
Chicken Parmesan (I had a little)
Lasagna (I didn't have any)
AMAZING INCREDIBLE olive artichoke salad
Water to drink
biscotti afterwards

Music beforehand:
Tambi Matich singing "Oh that I were an Angel" medley
Accompanied by Susie Kartchner

Christine Brady, LeeAnn Rasmussen and Polly Dotson singing "Write they name upon my Heart"
Accompanied by Mary Beth Schaumann

Stacey Haslam singing "What Heaven Sees in You"
Accompanied by Susie Kartchner

Lisa Welsh, Janice Huckaby, Cara Widman, Chris Grayson and Lareesa Sherwood singing "More Holiness Give Me"
Arranged by Randy Kartchner
Accompanied by Susie Kartchner

Lynette Harris singing "He Came for Me"
Arranged by Randy Kartchner
Accompanied by Susie Kartchner

Notes on the program:

Sister Beck - RS Pres
- There is more to be done to bring the gospel to the world
- Organize, teach and inspire Heavenly Father's daughters and prepare them for the blessings of eternal life.

1. Increase Faith and personal righteousness
2. Strengthen family and home
3. Serve the Lord and His children

- Increase your (spiritual) offering.
- Revelation is not a matter of pushing buttons and getting what you want, but of preparing yourself with fasting, prayer and righteous living.

Silvia Allred - 1st Counselor in RS Pres.
The notes in italics are the notes I took for myself only. These notes are quite personal and you shouldn't think that *you* need to follow these directions. These are notes I took because I felt that *I* need to follow them.
- Attend Temple 2x/month
- Organize house
- Develop a Spirit of Work
- Get membership # and start working on new Family History site.

To be worthy to attend Temple:
- Obey commandments
- Seek to do God's Will
- Clear mind and heart of thoughts and feelings that do not belong in the Temple
- Dress modestly

Barbara Thompson - 2nd Counselor on RS presidency
I only took personal notes during this talk.
- How do I let the sisters I Visit Teach know that I love them
- How do I contact them without making them feel like they're my project?
- How can I come to love them as Christ does?

Dieter F. Uctdorf - 2nd Counselor in Presidency of Church.
Personal note: Make effort to prepare a balanced, healthy, nutritious meal for family, even if they hate it and moan and complain EVERY SINGLE DANG NIGHT and refuse to eat it. Prepare a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. Take time to make it lovingly.

- We, as women are hard on ourselves.
- Feeling inadequate, discouraged and weary? Read on...
- So much to do - feel overwhelmed

- During time of trial and stress:
(And then my mind wandered and I started thinking that as our body needs to work as one or it ceases to function, as atoms in individual substances need to work together or that substance isn't functional, as man and woman need to work together to become one in a family, so do humans need to work together in one body - the body of Christ. Those who are evil in the world - tyrants, abusers etc - are like cancer. Those who are good in the world are like...what? White blood cells? It's important to teach our children to do good and help others, and it's important that we ourselves live as examples of Christ that we may influence those around us in the world, so that the body works in harmony and is not overtaken or killed by "cancer". Why did this come to my mind? I have no idea.)

Then my mind kicked back into gear and I came in at:
We are Spirit daughters of the most creative being in the universe. We are creative beings. We are created to experience the fullness of joy. We find this by creating things. As mothers we create with God a new life. You may think you don't have talents - that's wrong. We are all creative.

How am I creative?

Don't let fear of failure discourage you. Don't let critics discourage; critics outside or in. =)

Cultivate home, earth and mind.

The more you trust and rely on the Spirit, the more your capacity to create.

Lift others. As we lift others we also lift ourselves. As you lose yourselves in the service of others, you find the real you.

If you are gloomy, look around and help someone else and your gloom is gone and you feel right.

You are surrounded by opportunities of service.

As spirit daughters of Heavenly Father, happiness is our heritage.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Emily and Nicola

Emily has just come downstairs and asked me to "zip her up". The zip went up just fine...and just like that, Emily fit into the same dress she wore to Freshman homecoming. She's a senior, and will be wearing it to homecoming with David.

Let me see if I can find a picture of them. I wonder if it's possible to steal one from Emily's facebook account?

Here's one, taken a while ago. That's Emily on the right and David in the middle, with Kelsey Raymond (daughter of Brett Raymond. You would not BELIEVE how well this girl can play piano. She's trying out for Julliard. Wouldn't surprise me if she gets in.) on the left.

Hahahaha, this one makes me laugh.

I'll get a better picture of them when they're all poshed up for homecoming.

Conversation between Emily and David:
*Emily forced me to edit this, the monkey.*


I have to tell you, watching your daughter date is AWESOME!!!! It's WAY more fun than dating yourself. *Emily's comment edited because she wanted me to take it out* It's so much fun, that butterflies-in-the-stomach phase. They do homework together. And hold hands. My good gravy, it's so cute I could just explode.


My sister called in great pain. She's recovering, but hurting. She called to tell me that.......

She and Craig are getting married!!!!! =) =)

They're getting married in Allington church - the church in the little village where my parents live. My Mum has always wanted one of her children married there, so my sister is doing it for her. =) Isn't that the sweetest thing? I'm so tickled pink for her and Craig. =)

Problem number one: no money to get over there. Can't afford to send the whole family.

Problem number two: They're getting married on Boxing day, which means if only some of the family go over, they won't be with the rest of the family for Christmas Day.

Both these things mean we probably won't make it. Craig says we can send a Lamborghini instead. =) I'll get right on that... =D

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Public schools strike again

Another excellent job by local public schools.

*sigh* =( It's so sad. Why would they do that? The boy must have been really irritating the living daylights out of them. I've come across enough children who have pushed my buttons that I can empathize; but really! Handcuffing children like criminals?? Insane!

Ma'am, take your child out of that abusive environment and teach him in a safe place where he will be valued and loved, where he will get the type of education he needs, and where he can learn that autistic children CAN learn and ARE valuable, and where he can be disciplined with the patience he needs. Ma'am, bring that boy home.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The week's menu

Mamma Duk's menu reminds me that I was going to post our menu every week...and I've done it twice. Ha! Story of my life. =D

So here it is.

Breakfast: really unhealthy but delicious smoothie. See below for recipe
Lunch: Egg may sarnie and salad
Dinner: I think we'll have beef stew because I defrosted the stew meat last week and then never got around to use it. Better do so today before it goes all gross n stuff.

Breakfast: It should be a healthy smoothie (see recipe below) but it probably won't be.
Lunch: Cheese salad sarnie. Or a cheese and tomato sarnie with salad on the side. Or a cheese and pickle sarnie with salad on the side. Or a bar of chocolate.
Dinner: Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. Or Ben's sloppy joes (recipe below). Probably Ben's sloppy joes. With a salad.


Breakfast: The usual
Lunch: Hummus on a tortilla with banana peppers and salad.
Dinner: Evelyn's Shepherd's pie with gravy and salad. (recipe below)

Breakfast: as per
Lunch: Lunchmeat salad sandwich. Ew. I'll probably do something else.
Dinner: Bean stew and cheese toast. It will be interesting to see if this one actually happens as well.

Breakfast: la de da
Lunch: Tuna fish salad sandwich
Dinner: We'll all probably go out to eat for Bert's birthday. =) Happy Birthday, Bert! =)

Breakfast: Marmalade toast and milk
Lunch: Egg mayo salad sarnie
Dinner: Fast Sunday. Wait. No it's not. It's Conference weekend, innit? Hmmmmm, not sure what we'll have then. Probably the grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup that we were meant to have earlier this week. Or Tuna mac and cheese casserole or something.

Or potato chip butties. Those are good. =)

Breakfast: oatmeal, dates and walnuts.
Lunch: some sandwichy type thing
dinner: Spaghetti noodles, of course. =) It's Sunday. We ALWAYS have spog bol on Sundays. =)

Really unhealthy but delicious smoothie.
1 cup milk
1/2 banana
1 tsp cocoa
1 tsp sugar
dollop peanut butter
Blend. Drink. Enjoy.

Healthy Smoothie
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup yoghurt
1/2 banana
buncha frozen strawberries
Blend. Drink. Enjoy.

Ben's sloppy joes.

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 can tomato soup
3 or 4 Tbsp ketchup
2 or 3 Tbsp vinegar
2 or 3 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 can water
2 or 3 Tbsp brown sugar

Brown ground beef and celery. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Simmer about 10 mins. Serve on buns with cheese, if desired.

Evelyn's Shepherd's Pie
1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
2 cans tomato soup
1 cup carrots, diced and cooked (I skip the carrots. gross)
1 cup peas, thawed
1 cup corn, thawed
6 to 7 large potatoes (I use the cannery's potato pearls)
Cheddar cheese
salt and pepper

In a large skillet, brown beef and onions. Drain fat. Add soup. COok 5 mins. Add veges. Cook 15 mins on medium heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Peel and wash potatoes. Cook until soft. Mash with margarine, milk and salt. Pour beef mixture into a 9x13 in baking dish. Spread potatoes over the top. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350f for 20 mins.

Good news

Got a phone call from my Momma this morning. My sister's out of surgery. A look under the microscope at the two cysts that were removed by the surgeon showed no signs of cancer. They've been sent off to be biopsied...but all looks clear for now.

Let the party begin!!!!!!!! =) =)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday Scripture

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

My sister called this morning. On Monday she went in to the doctor because of a bladder infection, but the tablets didn't help. When she went back in, he didn't believe she'd taken the tablets, because he's a noob. So off she went to the women's clinic. They did some blood work. They went "What the heck?" and a couple of days of tests ensued. On Saturday the specialist looked at the results and said he would operate on Monday. Words like "Ovarian Cancer" are being thrown around recklessly. Of course she doesn't have cancer! This is my older sister! Older sisters don't get cancer! They live long lives and make you laugh and stuff!

So, tomorrow she's having an operation that's no big deal, and by the end of the week we'll have results that show she actually had indigestion, ok?

Alright? Everyone clear on this?


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fuel shortage - no problem. =)

Bert siphoned gas from his full tank, put half of it in Emily's car so she could get to school for the week, and half of it in my car, so I could take Andrew to his various activities. Bless his heart. =)

I asked him how he would get to work. He said he'd ride his bike. =) What a man!!!! This is about an hour-long bike ride each day, and it's fairly rainy out there. What a great guy.

As it happened, this morning we saw that petrol had been delivered to the station near us. Bert took the van there right away. He said the station attendants had things really well organized, and he was in and out of there lickety split. Well....sort of. It took 30-60 mins, but that's not too bad.

A couple of hours later, the station was all sold out of petrol again.

This article (which I'll print most of below) states that it will be the end of next week before we see the fuel lines full restored to TN.

Hmmm, I don't think I'd better take Andrew to swimming next week....just incase I need that fuel for the week after as well...

This article (which I'll also print most of below) states that the fuel lines to TN are actually running at full capacity already, and it's just because people are panic-buying that the supply is running low. If that is actually the case, I think the panic will stop here in a couple of days as people feel calmer with full gas tanks, and thus by mid-week petrol stations will have full tanks again.

Anyway, this has been a very interesting situation to be in. Bert says it's shown him how fragile the fuel lines are. He thought if something like Ike disrupted supply, then effects would be felt a few weeks or so afterwards...but in actual fact we were feeling the effects immediately.

Just when you think you're safe and secure, along comes something that shows you that what you thought was rock was actually a pyramid of cards.

So what is secure?

and your own character.

Ritsumei, as you read these articles, what do you notice about the level of writing? =) I think it's even worse than the one you looked at. There are no paragraphs at all, just sentences separated by breaks. And do you notice that there is even a spelling error? "The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency said that supplies are running as normal, but do to the higher demand, reserve tanks were drained." "Do"? Don't you mean "DUE"?

Panic Grips Area During Gas Shortage
AAA: Gas Won't Return To Normal For 1 Week

NASHVILLE -- Many communities gripped by a gas shortage were in panic mode over the weekend, and bad news from AAA did not help to calm them.

AAA said Saturday that supplies may not return to normal until late next week, but until then, they said everyone needs to deal with the crisis in a reasonable manner.

The latest updated comes the day after Gov. Phil Bredesen stated that the colonial pipeline that provides much of the area's supply was at 100 percent capacity.

AAA stated that the pipeline is still experiencing interruptions due to power problems caused by Hurricane Ike.

They said they do not expect normal service to be restored until next Friday.

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency said that supplies are running as normal, but do to the higher demand, reserve tanks were drained.

TEMA referred to the short supply as a temporary pinch point.

Many rumors surfaced during the shortage about gas trucks being held up at the border and shut downs occurring at stations. None of the rumors has any truth to it.

Officials said rumors can cause panic in an already tense environment and can cause more problems in the long run.

Officials said they wanted to stress to the communities that no one should be hording gasoline, cars should only be refilled when they are close to empty and drivers should not top off tanks when they are half full or more.

Channel Fours' Cynthia Williams spent Saturday traveling from different Tennessee communities.

Williams reported that in the Music City, chaos broke out close to midnight at a Pilot station on Trinity Lane.

Many at the station had to push their cars to the pump, adding another annoyance to a stressful day.

Franklin had a similar situation, Williams reported.

Police were called for gasoline deliveries, as drivers crammed the station looking for fuel.

In parts of Franklin only one or two gas stations had fuel.

In some cases, people were given limits on how much gas they could pump.

The manager at one "Daily" gas station said that her bosses sent out a companywide e-mail promising that trucks were on the way with gas and would arrive either Saturday or Sunday. She said she later heard that there were more issues with a pipeline, which she knew meant more long lines.

One man waiting at a gas station stood in line and filled up a gas can, saying that his vehicle was stuck at "E" in his driveway.

Officials said a barge arrived Friday with more than 1 million gallons of unleaded fuel and 3 million gallons of diesel.

They said, however, that demand will suck that up faster than the next delivery will arrive.


Pipelines To Nashville At Full Capacity
Gas Shortages Create Long Lines

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Three barges traveling along the Cumberland River on Friday delivered three million gallons of gas and diesel to Nashville, which has battled severe gas shortages for the last few days.

Pipelines supplying Nashville with gasoline were running at full capacity after a shortage that officials said was spurred by panic buying.

Gov. Phil Bredesen said in a news release on Friday that the pipelines supplying Nashville should continue at full capacity into next week.

Bredesen urged Nashvillians to conserve fuel, saying the city could continue to see shortages for the next few days.

Tennessee Oil Marketers Association Associate Director Emily LeRoy had said earlier in the day there was fuel coming in, but the pipeline supply was sporadic.

LeRoy said some Nashville stations had reported double their usual fuel sales volume for a week, since Hurricane Ike came ashore in Texas -- a sign of panic buying.

Across middle Tennessee, many places that sell gas have run out after Ike damaged the supply line that comes out of Texas last week.

"I've been told that (the problems) are being resolved and gas is moving now. Whatever shortages we have are going to be very short-lived. Obviously if it continues on for another day or two, I'm going to be asking a lot of hard questions about that," said Bredesen.

Because of gas shortages, more people are fueling up than usual, which is worsening the problem.

On Friday, Channel 4 heard of reports of fights breaking out at area gas stations. At a gas station located at Franklin Road and Old Hickory Boulevard, people said they were in line for 45 minutes to buy gas.

Drivers in Brentwood found stations with no posted prices and their fuel pumps bagged on Friday morning.

The gas problems appear to be not affecting Knoxville, which has plentiful gas for $3.49 per-gallon.


Friday, September 19, 2008


It's 11.45pm and I'm sitting up waiting for my son to come home from warhammer. Everyone else has gone to bed, exhausted. I want to go to bed too. Why did I agree to allow him to be driven home? I'm soooo tired.

In other news, there's not much other news.

Fuel has run out all over Franklin, Nashville, Brentwood and the surrounding areas. Bert and I saw one line over a mile long at the ONE gas station we saw that actually had petrol.

Emily has about 1/8th of a tank of petrol. That will get her to school and back on Monday, but if she's not able to fill up on Monday, I doubt she'll be going to school on Tuesday; there's just no way she can make it.

I have 1/4 tank of petrol. I think I can get to Andrew's soccer tomorrow and on Monday, but there's no way I'll be able to take him to his swimming on Tuesday or Thursday unless I can get more petrol.

Bert, luckily, filled up just yesterday or the day before, so he's good to go. He'll be able to get to work just fine, thank goodness....that's the most important thing!

My heart goes out to those families who are surviving on hourly-paid jobs who MUST go to work to keep food on the table but who can't get to work because they don't have petrol.

The Englishwoman in me thinks that - other than the difficulties mentioned in the above paragraph - this is not such a bad thing. I'm thinking "Hmmm, if this goes on, people will start riding bikes more. That's healthier. If trucks can't get petrol to bring food to the shops, where will people go? They'll go to the farmer's market. Hmmm, that's a good thing. =) Healthier, local produce....and people going to get it on bikes or shanks' mare. Awesome. =)"

Who knew I was such a closet environmentalist? =D =D

Actually, I'm not...well, I am, but I'm not a crazy liberal that thinks this is all the fault of the hideous human disease infesting the earth. I do, however, think that as children of God we need to use our resources wisely - and that means following the Prophet's counsel to live providently.

Oh my gosh! Thank goodness! Ben's home. Night everyone! =)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


OOhh, I'm so tickled about this I even quit aching for a while. =)

I am a

"When your friends think smile, they think of you. There is not a day that goes by that you can't find something good about the world and your fellow human."

What Flower
Are You?

I love sunflowers! =)

Just. Shoot. Me. Now

Ok. I ache all over. Oooooohhhhhhmoan moan complain. I was trying to find a suitable picture of someone looking like death to illustrate how I feel, but I couldn't find one.

Until, that is, I stopped by this blog right here. Hahahahaha! Brilliant.

I'm going to go read it some more. Because I want to, ok? That particular post was a good one. I can't wait for that to happen with me and Andrew. =) So I'm going to ignore the dishes and the laundry and the cleaning and I'm going to sit in my nightdress and read that blog. And occasionally, I'll moan.

Overly dramatic? Me? =)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hmmmm, what time of the month is it?

Well, today, I'm in an unreasonably bad mood.

1. Firefox died. What the heck? I can't get it to work at all. It simply will. not. function.

2. So how the heck do I access my bookmarks?

3. And now I'm forced to use internet explorer, which is evil, I tell you, EVIL. I HATE internet explorer, dadgumit!

4. I'm a bit irritated that it's 4.20pm and Ben's still doing homeschooling. All thie faffing about in the morning is really starting to make me mad. Tomorrow: up at 6am, and we get to it.

5. Various other reasons that I'm just too irritated to go in to at the moment.

I'm just going to have to breathe through these next few hours. Just breathe through them. Survive til bedtime. Maybe tomorrow I'll be less homicidal over insignificant matters.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Candace Salima knocks it out of the park....again

Ahhh, dear Candace, telling it like it is. You go, girl!

Remember that one teacher who was fired for using the word niggardly? It blew my mind when I heard that story. I should really have laughed, I suppose. It tells us all we need to know about how well public education is working out, doesn't it? Man! Read some books! Read a dictionary! Educate yourself! Your anger over this word shows your incredible ignorance and lack of understanding of the etymology of the English Language!

Meanwhile, Ben is playing "Bite the hand that feeds" on Rockband - guitar on expert. I think he's scoring about 100% right now. Hmph. Impressive.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Becoming obsessed

Ok, so at Emily´s party I was like "What are we going to give for party favors?" (We had a total party for an 8 year old at my daughter's 18th. =D) Emily snorted and said "Give them the Coldplay Viva la Vida because everyone's obsessed by it."

Obviously she wasn't. =D

I heard the first few bars of the song and was like "Meh" and wasn't impressed.

Then yesterday, just for kicks, I played it on audiosurf and was like "WOAH! What the heck is THIS!?" and quickly became quite obsessed. Irritating, I know, but there it is.

Here's the song. Listen to it. It's important. Read the lyrics whilst you do so. There will be more discussion afterwards, but it won't make sense unless you hear the song.

Ben and I watched this video AFTER we'd had the discussion that's coming up in a minute, and apart from the fact that the video looks like a painting we were singularly unimpressed. Boring? Yes indeed. Very boring video.

But here are the lyrics:

I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own

I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemies eyes
Listen as the crowd would sing:
"Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!"

One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt, and pillars of sand

I hear Jerusalem bells a-ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can not explain
Once you know there was never, never an honest word
That was when I ruled the world

It was the wicked and wild wind
Blew down the doors to let me in.
Shattered windows and the sound of drums
People could not believe what I'd become

Revolutionaries wait
For my head on a silver plate
Just a puppet on a lonely string
Oh who would ever want to be king?

I hear Jerusalem bells a-ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can not explain
I know Saint Peter won't call my name
Never an honest word
And that was when I ruled the world

Hear Jerusalem bells a-ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can not explain
I know Saint Peter will call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world

Ben said "What does Viva la Vida mean anyway?"

So we looked it up. Viva la Vida means "Live the life" and is based on a painting by Kahlo. So Ben and I dashed to look it up, hoping it would give us some insight.

Here's the painting

And Ben and I went:


"WHAT," I asked "Does this have to do with the song?"

And we both sat there studying the painting for a few minutes. Then Ben came up with this brilliant interpretation:

"Most of the watermelons are cut and broken. The one in the middle is whole."

All sorts of things started going through my head about broken things in the song and broken things in the painting and how we can be whole through Christ.

Ok, think about that for a bit because it's really interesting.

When you've done that, read this post I found, referring to the CD cover of Viva la Vida, which is a painting of the French Revolutionary War...which, incidentally Thomas Paine, being the meddler he was, got himself mixed up and hurt in.

The cover:

The post by scottlei4:
The album cover is a painting 'Liberty Leading The People'. The song (and painting) is about the French Revolution of 1830 and Charles X. He was very religious, hence the references in the song.

Oh DOH! Just knowing the history of that time, looking at the picture, then re-listening to the words of the song a lightbulb went off.

Awesome. I love it when my musical tastes collide with my love of history.

Ok, who the heck is Bob Barr?

I am obviously woefully ignorant about politics, and this irritates me no end. I just retook the candidate match-up quiz and it came up with this result:

Bob Barr 26
John McCain 17
Barack Obama 1
Ralph Nader 0

And I thought: "Who the heck is Bob Barr, and how did I get such a high score for someone I've never heard of?"

And I'm sorry for that dangling participle there.

What was interesting about the quiz was I found was that there was only one answer provided for the question "Should federal funding of embryonic stem cell research be expanded?" That answer was "yes". There was no "no" option. So ignored the question. I'm wondering if the lack of choice in this question was a mistake or deliberate, hmmmm?

Ok, research has just let me know that Barr is Libertarian. !!!!!

And here I always thought I was a conservative reactionary. Go figure.

Wayne Allyn Root is the VP part of the ticket. He's a homeschool dad. Dude. =) A quote from him:

"Get out your wallet. Look inside. Vote for me, and I promise to stay the hell out of there."

Limited spending. Smaller government. It's a beautiful thing.

Hmmmmm. Wonder what their stand is on abortion?

Bert has been saying lately that I'm libertarian. I thought he was insane. I guess I'd better find out what the heck this libertarian thing is all about before I categorically deny that I'm one, hey?

Sooooooo........what d'y'all know about libertarianism? Who can educate me? =)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Conversations with Emily

Emily: "So I'm like.....are you lying? Are you lying now?" and he goes "No. NO!!!!!" He gets really obtuse about it."

Me: "You mean upset?"

Emily: "Yeah. Obtuse, upset, they both begin with O."

Me: " they don't."

Emily: "Dang it."

Hahahahaha! That girl is soooo tired and is serious need of sleep. =D

My son is not a girly-man

So, Ben comes in and wipes his feet all over me. Well, not quite, I'm exaggerating a little. But he DOES show me his newly painted toes:

He said "I told myself that if I opened my history book and complained to myself then I had to paint my toenails blue. So I opened my book and looked at it and groaned to myself. That's why I have blue toenails.

"SO," says he, "Aren't you going to take a picture and write a story about it on your blog? Huh? Huh? Aren't ya?"

So I did.

Ben orders: "You must tell everyone and make it clear that I'm not a fruit. I'm not a girly-man."

Ok everyone. So be told. What the heck is the etymology of fruit in regards to be homosexual anyway?

Things you don't say to your wife


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Something I can never have

Bert's in California, which is a total bummer. I miss him so much when he's gone.

So I came across "Something I can never have" on youtube and it's so beautiful.

Until Mr. Reznor uses terrible language. I mean WHAT? Dude! Come on! Attempt to raise yourself out of a puerile sophomoric mode of communication will ya?

The thought has occurred over the past several days that I certainly have a large and wide destructive streak. I mean, why the heck would I be listening to NIN anyway? Hello? Mormon much? Just what is my problem anyway? It's like every so often I slip-slide down the slope and end up stuck in the tar of 1999.

I truly wonder about myself. When I'm covered in that sticky tar all of a sudden I'm playing the piano again and I have poetry running through my head and I feel electric. What the heck? Can I only be creative if I'm running counter to what I know is right and true?

It all goes to show: never make verbal plans to go to the Temple a week in advance, otherwise you really get it bad until you're drowning in temptation. I'm REALLY excited about going to the Temple tomorrow though. I haven't been in too long and I'm looking forward to it. =)

In other news, we had our homegrown version of Joy School this morning. I got a couple of cute pictures of the kidlets but I won't post 'em because I don't have their parents' permission. We learned about the body. I got big pieces of butcher paper and drew around the children. They pasted on a brain, heart and stomach. =D Then they coloured. They had SO much fun. =)

Here's the lyrics to that lovely (mostly) song...with the naughty word deleted. Looking at the lyrics isn't half as good as hearing the song though. Pity. Dang it. =(

To my husband; I miss you. Can't wait til you get home.

"I still recall the taste of your tears
echoing your voice just like the ringing in my ears
my favourite dreams of you still wash ashore
scraping through my head til I don't want to sleep anymore.

You make this all go away
You make this all go away
I'm down to just one thing
I'm starting to scare myself

You make this all go away
You make it all go away
I just want something
I just want something I can never have.

You always were the one to show me how
Back then I couldn't do the things that I can do now
This thing is slowly taking me apart
Grey would be the colour if I had a heart

Come on and tell me
You make this all go away
You make this all go away
I'm down to just one thing
I'm starting to scare myself

You make this all go away
You make it all go away
I just want something
I just want something I can never have.

In this place it seems like such a shame
Though it all looks different now
I know it's still the same
Everywhere I look you're all I see
Just a fading - reminder of who I used to be
Come on, tell me

You make this all go away
You make this all go away
I'm down to just one thing
I'm starting to scare myself
You make this all go away
You make it all go away
I just want something
I just want something I can never have.
I just want something I can never have."

The Importance of Being Earnest

"I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train."

"In matters of grave importance, style, not sincerity is the vital thing."

Gwendolyn Fairfax
The Importance of Being Earnest.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Wish - just swallow down all that fire

Sometimes you're in a really nasty mood and all of a sudden you hear a song from your distant past and it gets you right where you're feeling it.

Except this particular song is full of profanity and suchlike hideous stuff sooooo I'm not posting it here. And I don't recommend you go looking for it.

I do have to say, though, that I do miss my CD that I bought in Germany. It was pretty rare and I threw it away. I'm SO glad I did because it's not good to let myself wallow in this particular mood.

Ok, now I'm going to have to go do something to feel clean again....

In other news, Emily messed up, but is handling the consequences pretty well. Ben has been doing really well on his homeschooling today. Andrew is excited to go swimming. Aaaaaand Ben needs to do his Spanish now soooooo he needs the computer. It's a good thing. I need to get ready for the four preschoolers that are coming over to my house for joy school tomorrow. =)

Monday, September 08, 2008

In other news, Andrew decided to climb in a box

I´m at the computer entering in Ben's grades when he pipes up, "It kind of surprises me that Andrew's in a box."

And I think, "huh?" and turn around.....


And here's the picture:

=D It looks uncomfortable, doesn't it? But he's having a marvelous time. =D He'll hop out, run around the island pushing his Lightning McQueen car, then get back in the box. Right now he's pretending he's Spongebob. =D=D

""Hey! You can't wrap me up! I'm not a present."
"Eh Squidward. Eh Squidward."
"What you doin' in that present?"
"Hangin' Around."
"Secret tunnel, secret tunnel, secret secret tunnel"
"I don't like that song!""

And there he is, channeling Squidward, Spongebob, the music guy from Avatar and Sokka.

Even if you're lost you can't lose the love because it's in your heart.

Oh oh oh ohhhhhh.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sunday Scripture

Emily suggested:Helaman 5:12

And now my sons remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer who is Christ the son of God that ye must build your foundation that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds yea his shafts in the whirlwind; yea when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you it shall have no power unto you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless woe because of the rock upon which ye are built which is a sure foundation. A foundation where on if men build they cannot fall.

Mine: Alma 37:35

O remember my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth; yea learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God.

Fleur's Translation:
Believe in Christ. Pray to Him. Read your scriptures. Lean on Christ in your troubles. Run to Him when you need help. If you do this, when Satan does all kinds of hideous nasty things to make you miserable, he'll fail completely because you'll be at peace in Christ.

Also: Learn to follow the commandments when you're young and that way it'll be easier to follow them when you're an old geezer.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Emily's 18th Birthday Party

I currently have a house full of really awesome teenagers. =) Emily's having her 18th birthday party. We had about 20 of the youth over. =)

We played rockband, ate pizza, croissants, ham, cheese, salad, veggies and dip, ice cream and so on and so forth. Then they played hide and seek outside. =D Then we played the luft-ballon tanz, then pass-the-parcel, then pin the tail on the donkey. =)

After that they all settled down to watch a film. It was "minority report", but clearplay wasn't working - that DVD player, when it works, is awesome...but it often doesn't work and that's SO frustrating. So instead they're watching "Treasure Planet" on the PS2. What's amazing is the DVD player on the PS2 never works....but tonight it did. Awesome! =)

Here's the balloon dance. =) Watching this video I realize that the couple that won actually lost control of their balloon in the middle of the dance and therefore shouldn't have won. Oh well. =Þ



Various pictures of the awesome young men and women at the party.

Jason Flake, Jeff Allan, Spencer Stolworthy, Jodie Wilson.

Rebecca Flake playing with Andrew

Kenz Sherwood. Kenz is AWESOME. =)

Jack Grayson (on the floor), Jason Flake, Jeff Allan, Spencer Stolworthy, Jodie Wilson.

Kelsey Allan, Ben, Andrew, Rebecca Flake, Ben Raymond (in the chair)

L-R, Top to bottom: Mary Kelsey, David Peach, Someone Emily, Carolina's sister, Carolina, Someone (Cody?).

Wow, the contrast is astonishing.

Holy toledo! This article (which I'll also post below) shows an incredible contrast between Palin and Obama.

1. Palin will homeschool - which I believe is an incredibly smart and loving act
2. Palin believes children are blessings
3. Obama believes babies are PUNISHMENTS - wow, I'm sure that makes his daughters feel really loved. It also explains why he's fine with murdering them.

Sarah Palin Plans to Homeschool
Written by Spunky Homeschool on August 30, 2008 – 11:26 am -

Please note: This post has been updated below.

The political buzz this weekend seems to be the nomination of Alaksan Governor and conservative mother of five, Sarah Palin, as Vice President for Republican candidate, John McCain. Her nomination is causing many conservative voters, who were disillusioned with the Republican choice, to take a second look at McCain.

Homeschoolers may be interested to know that Palin has recently decided to home educate.

This bit of news has excited Dallas Morning News journalist and Crunchy Con author, Rod Dreher. He wrote, “Man, she just gets better and better.” Palin has enrolled her high school daughter in Interior Distance Education of Alaska (IDEA).

IDEA is a state funded education program which provides curriculum and materials for use in the home. There is an interesting requirement, ”To participate in our homeschool program, at least one parent/guardian must be in the home actively engaged in the education of the children.”

Already some people are wondering how Palin will juggle the demands of a large family with the stress of being Vice President. Now she has added home education to her already busy schedule.

I have a hard time keeping up with my kids and my blog! But then again, she probably won’t have to do much cooking or cleaning in her new house.

There are still three months to go until election day and much more to learn about Palin. Her family will now be in the spotlight. Palin seems to be a bundle of energy and eager for the challenges she will face. Time will tell if her spark will be enough to move voters toward McCain, making her the first woman and homeschooler to become Vice President of the United States.


Update: Monday, Sept. 1: Palin has announced that her daughter, Bristol, is pregnant. This may have been the reason they decided to homeschool this year. Mrs. Palin and her husband Todd said in a statement:

“Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realise very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family.”

Good for them. I’m proud of the Palin’s and their daughter, Bristol, for choosing life and accepting their unborn baby as a blessing not a “punishment.

“Look, I got two daughters - 9 years old and 6 years old,” [Obama] said. “I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.”


Friday, September 05, 2008

How things are

Well, the Brooks family has not been having a fun time lately. We have a young man going through puberty....and thus the rest of the family are going through it too. It sucks. I remember thinking when Emily went through it "How am I going to survive this?". Well, I did. But only just. Based on current behaviour, I have a feeling this one is going to be worse. And I betcha Andrew's going to be a doozy as he's 3 and is learning all sorts of wonderful things from his hormone-filled brother.

I've started having dreams (literally) of running away again. I'm wondering.....Hmmm....Emily's 18 and can take care of herself. Bert works all hours and can take care of himself. If I put Ben in public school the bus comes before Bert leaves for work and arrives back after Emily comes home from school. Maybe I can put Andrew in the car and we can tour the US for...Hmmm....five years? Think Ben will be done with puberty then?

The advantage to that plan, as well, is that Andrew will be away from hormone-induced rage and behaviour. AND, furthermore, he'll have a great education visiting all sorts of wonderful sites in the US. =)

Think Bert'll fund this trip? =)

In the meantime, and in an attempt to provide some cheerier news, allow me to share the first known picture of Michael Phelps:

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Typical evil white people

"...whites are responsible for your sorry state, not any inherent flaws in you. In fact, whites are so heartless and devious that we can no longer expect anything from them."
Barack Obama
Dreams from my Father.

More Scary Stuff

Ok, not content with thinking it's ok to murder newborn babies (Don't dissociate yourself from this idea...take a look at some pictures of newborns. Hold them, look at them...and think to yourself "Obama thinks it's ok to kill these beautiful, tiny babies while they're still crying their first cries". Then think to yourself, "How do they do it?" Not just "How do they look themselves in the mirror after performing their state-sanctioned infanticide?", but "How is it physically done?" Yeah. It's pretty evil, isn't it?), we have more scary info about Obama:

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

It's a day late, but that's the story of my life.

Labor Day Meme from Manse Life.

How long were your labors?

Child #1 - 56 hours

Child #2 - 15 hours

Child #3 - 6 hours

How did you know you were in labor?

Child #1 - The nurse said "Might as well get comfortable, you're not going home."

Child #2 - After a day of on-again-off-again labour I was tired and prayed "Lord, please either make this go away or let's get it started." Half an hour later, it STARTED. Whoo doggie! Those contractions were not playing around. =)

Child #3 - I laughed, I peed myself. wasn't pee.... =D =D Water broke. Contractions didn't start until the nurse examined me to make sure my water really had broken. (Hello? It's all over the bathroom floor!)

Where did you deliver?

Child #1- in a large conveyer - type hospital. UVRMC in Provo, Utah. Not fun.

Child #2- hospital in Southfield, MI.

Child #3 - Hospital in Troy, MI. *sigh*. I wish there had been a birth center nearby.


Child #1 - Epidural as soon as I could get it. Led to all kinds of interventions

Child #2 - Walking epidural

Child #3 - Walking epidural. Wish I'd had a doula instead.

Who delivered?

Child #1 a tired doctor who wasn't interested.

Child #2 a female doctor who'd given birth just a couple of months previously and was AWESOME.

Child #3 - a midwife.