Friday, July 31, 2009

The LoL on my desktop

In honour of the fact that Andrew has several best friends who live only in his head (Or, has he would have it, Brentwood): X, Joe, and....uh...I forget the other because he hasn't been "out" to play much.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

The LoL on my desktop.

Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures
see more Political Pictures

1 Corinthians 13 for Mothers

1 Corinthians 13 for Mothers


If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in its place,
but have not love,
I am a housekeeper not a homemaker.

If I have time for waxing, polishing, and decorative achievements,
but have not love,
my children learn cleanliness not godliness.

If I scream at my children for every infraction,
and fault them for every mess they make,
but have not love,
my children become people-pleasers not obedient children.

Love leaves the dust in search of a child’s laugh.
Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints on a newly cleaned window.
Love wipes away the tears before it wipes up the spilled milk.
Love picks up the child before it picks up the toys.

Love accepts the fact that I am the ever-present “mommy,”
the taxi-driver to every childhood event,
the counsellor when my children fail or are hurt.

Love crawls with the baby, walks with the toddler, and runs with the child,
then stands aside to let the youth walk into adulthood.

Before I became a mother I took glory in my house of perfection.
Now I glory in God’s perfection of my child.
All the projections I had for my house and my children
have faded away into insignificance,
And what remain are the memories of my kids.

Now there abides in my home scratches on most of the furniture,
dishes with missing place settings,
and bedroom walls full of stickers, posters and markings,
But the greatest of all is the Love
that permeates my relationships with my children.

(Adapted from an anonymous source by Jim Fowler)

Queen of all things Awesome

I got an award! Woo hoo!

Cristina at Homespun Juggling gave me this award:




WHOOT! =)


These are The rules:

1. List Seven Things That Make You Awe-Summm!
2. Pass the award on to seven bloggers you read religiously.
3. Tag those seven bloggers.

This is very difficult. Seven things? That make me awesome? Uhhhhhh......


1. I like to read a lot

2. I haven't yet killed the children even when the older one is at this moment making the younger one whine and the younger one is screaming. I remain in the house and deal with the day-to-day stuff and haven't run away screaming never to return.

3. I've lost 15.8lbs in ten weeks on Weight Watchers.

4. When things get really tough, I take a deep breath and just push on through it. While I'm not good in a *sudden* crisis, I AM good at doing emotionally difficult things. If you need someone to just suck it up, sacrifice, and git 'er done, I'm yer woman.

5. I can be so stinkin' frugal it's been a massive blessing to our family. OTOH, it's good that we have Bert here to balance it out so I remember to live from time to time. Also, I've loosened up somewhat when it comes to having to purchase homeschool and food storage/72hr kit supplies.

6. I'm good at creating a budget and sticking to it.

7. I am really good at picking curriculum and making schedules. It just clicks a place right inside me to sit down with a massive pile of books and put together an entire year's homeschool schedule. I love it. =)


Seven bloggers I read all the time:

1. 11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven
2. Ritsumei
3. Camian Academy
4. Emily
5. Meanwhile, Back at the ranch
6. The Hocklanders Who just had a baby girl a couple of days ago - their first child. =)
7. A Large Room

Dang, that was hard to choose just seven! Thank you, all you wonderful bloggers, for teaching me, inspiring me, and making me laugh. =)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Public School Teachers again




Yes, because we don't want those little stinkers to think for themselves, do we? Because then we could tell them things like "AD" means "After Death" and get really really irritated when the child insists it means "Anno Domini".

True Story. Happened to Emily when she was in middle school.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Protection for a Soldier

My inbox was full of goodies today. Here's an email (posted here with permission) that I recieved from Linda on my LDS homeschool email list. Linda's name is Brooks - and her daughter's name is Kelly. You can see how confused everyone was when I joined the group and started posting. No-one could figure out why Kelly was posting about her middle school-aged boy... =D =D


Anyway, here's the email she sent. Enjoy.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This letter is from a very good friend of mine back in Alabama. He and his wife are devout members of the church, and have 5 boys. I want everyone to see how Heavenly Father answers prayers. I remember John was born and I babysat these boys many times and for awhile even lived with the family. In return two of their boys stayed with us briefly when they came to Utah to enter the Mission Training Center prior to serving 2 year volunteer missions. John has returned from many scary war missions and I wanted to share some of his exerpinces with you. I know that God is truly our Eternal Father in Heaven who cares about each of and answers our prayers!
Linda




Just to let everyone know prayers are answered. John came home this past February and is now living near Fort Drum New York where he is stationed. He spent 15 months in Iraq in Camp Delta which approximately 35 miles from Iran. His military training has been in a special new Army role as a Combative Military Police. Prior to John leaving for Iraq, John was selected to assist in providing SWAT training exercises to the New York State SWAT Teams. They provided the latest techniques that the Army had developed to the SWAT Teams. John's assignment in Iraq was not to guard Iraqi POWs but to go out and search for those the Army had labeled as bad (these were capture or destroy missions).

Our prayers was for John to remain safe - at first specifically - to deflect all harmful projectiles or fragments that none would penetrate his body - later this changed to include not allow any harmful influence.

Camp Delta is located in the trade routes where the Army believes all military arms from Iran come through to be disbursed throughout Iraq. John worked with and provided support to several US Special Forces units. In November of 2007, while on such a mission to a Special Forces operation in a nearby town - a enemy sniper fired a shot at John while John was trying to secure a intersection between building. The bullet harmlessly passed through John's camo pack. John was aware he had been hit as he was supposed to have stopped at the wall - instead he ran through the freshly constructed wall. The camo pack (fresh water container) on John's back was destroyed. No injury to John. Several weeks later John was driving his Armored Security Vehicle in the second position in a convoy when IED was exploded destroying his ASV and blowing it off the road. John and his team came out with only very minor injuries (a few cuts and bruises).

A few weeks prior to Haydens passing away, John was supporting a Special Forces operation, a sniper bullet hit John's M4 stock (smaller version of the M16 rifle) just a few inches from John's face. The bullet's impact knocked John down and knocked the breath out of John. John does not remember being knocked out but he said when he opened his eyes one of the Special Forces men was standing over him and yelling at him "Solider You've Got To Breathe"! When John came home for Hayden's funeral (Joseph's 10 week old son), I pulled a small piece of rock from behind John's ear.

A few weeks after John returned to Iraq, their group was returning from a mission and were ambushed by a large number of enemy combatants. They were in a crossfire and John was hit in his vest's side by a ricochet bullet - again no harm and no penetration. Month's later while providing support as the gunner in a hummer on another mission a John took rifle bullet in his vest in the center of
His chest - again no harm no penetration.

Sometimes parents may teach their children too much. Brenda and I taught John how to drive a standard transmission. Because John was the only solider in his Company that knew how to drive a standard transmission - John was picked to be the driver of many Special Forces secret missions - where they all dressed in Iraqi clothing. John would have to drive a Iraqi civilian vehicle to the Special Forces men's objective and let them out. Then John would have to drive around the town until his designated time to pick them up again. John was wearing what he call's his man dress. Some of these drives lasted hours - John was by himself.

Are we blessed? Are prayers answered? Brenda and I say yes to both of these! Please tell everybody we think of you often, we miss you and still include you in our prayers!

Love,
Brenda and Alan

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

WHOOOOOT!!!!!!!!

Arrived in my inbox two minutes ago:


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hello All and thanks for visiting us at Franklin On the Fourth this year! We really had a great time meeting everyone and hope your families enjoyed playing on the Mobile Pirate Ship!

Each of you entered a drawing for a free 3-Hour Event Rental with the Mobile Ship and we are proud to announce that Keeley Brooks has won! Congratulations to Keeley! Contact me Keeley to set up your date!

~Snip, cos it had other people's names in it ~

And remember...We not only have the Mobile Ship for rental...We build these bad boys in your own backyard! Contact me today and I'll offer each of you who visited us in Franklin a special discount on a permanent ship in your yard!

Thanks and Have a great week!

Derek Hinckley
Owner, Pirate Play Ships, LLC
www.pirateplayships.com
615.545.1469
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



WHOOOOOOOT! I'm so excited!!!! There was a play area for the children at the Franklin on the Fourth fair. We paid $5 or something for Andrew to go on one ride - and then he saw this ship, which was free, and played on it for about 20 minutes until we had to drag him away because it was so stinkin' hot we were dying. =Þ

They had a sign-up sheet on the ship. Being as Andrew loved it so much I had no problem signing up in the hopes that we'd get a free playdate.

And we DID!!!! I can't believe we won! =)

WOOO HOO! =)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sickness and homeschooling fun

We were meant to meet some friends at the library on Tuesday - or was it Monday? I forget. Anyway, but Andrew threw up a little. I think it was because it was in the morning and he hadn't eaten anything and was bouncing around and urp up it came. I called them and we put it off until today. Pity we did, really, as he was fine after that, but oh well I didn't know it at the time.

We were meant to go swimming today but Aunt Flo is paying a visit so no go there. So I signed up at Jump!Zone so I could get a two-for-one pass so Natalie could get one of her children in for free.

Anyway, so they were on their way and it was time for breakfast. Andrew asked for cheerios and refused to eat them. GAH! That makes me so mad! I hate wasted food. He said his tummy hurt. Uh huh. Perhaps your tummy hurts because you haven't eaten anything?

"No", he said, "It's because I ate too much."
But he hadn't eaten a thing!

Ok, whatever.

We pulled chores out of the hat - or actually, from the plastic container (more on that in another post) and Andrew got the walking the dog chore.

Before we could get to that he started whining. I sent him upstairs to his room until he could stop.

Then it was time for scriptures. He said he didn't want to come down, he wanted to sleep. Uh huh. Time for scriptures, down you come.

Then it was time to walk the dog. He happily got ready, but on the walk he was still complaining his tummy hurt.


All of a sudden all the little things from the morning went 1+1+1+1 = BING! in my head and the light went on. I felt his head. Ooooh boy.

At home I sat him on the couch and took his temperature with a real mercury thermometer. Not the digital ones that register your temperature as 96f and go up a point or two if you reset it and try again. And then go up another point or two if you reset it again....and on and on. Those things are hideously unreliable. Give me a good old fashioned thermometer that I can trust and I'm happy.

So I stuck it under Andrew's arm and put him in front of Backyardigans to keep him distracted and so he'd sit still for ten minutes.

Ten minutes later he had a temperature of 101.5f (38.6C) - and that was the UNDERARM temperature, which means he was actually at 102.5f (39.2C). Ooooooh dear.

So I called Natalie - and she was almost here =( - and broke the news to her. I'm so bummed that we couldn't get together! I love that family so much!

When I told Andrew he wouldn't be able to play with Leah because he's sick, his little face crumpled and he cried. =(

I was extremely thankful we'd caught it before they got here though, because about half an hour later Andrew threw up. Poor little sausage. I hope that's the last of the vomiting because vomiting is blech.




In the meanwhile, Sonlight sent out an email that was particularly humourous, so I thought I'd post it here. =) Enjoy



You know you're a homeschooler when . . .

. . . your kids are in the kiddie pool playing Lewis and Clark, paddling down the river with lacrosse sticks. --Jen

. . . you find yourself and your guests at your birthday party, at 10pm, embroiled in a lively discussion/explanation of the heart's size and function...with your five year old, who just had to get out of bed and ask because she couldn't sleep until she knew! --Eddie

. . . people ask to borrow books from you because it's closer than the library with almost as varied a collection. --Christine

. . . your son asks to listen to the Geography Songs CD every day at lunch. --Sherri

. . . you can SING the countries of Africa! "Algeria, Ethiopia, Liberia . . ." --Cindy

. . . you stop in the church parking lot to pick up a big Rhinoceros beetle. It is dead and actually smells a bit bad, but you lay it carefully in the back seat, because your kids have never seen one before, except for the one in "Bug's Life." --Anna

. . . you go to the greenhouse in the summer to buy herbs and start talking to the kids about the different kinds of plants . . . and then one of the workers asks if you work there!!!! --Donna

. . . you're out with non-homeschooling friends and they expect you to know the answers to everything--like the difference between a vegetable and a fruit and whether certain things like cucumbers are veggies. --Melissa

. . . your daughter's dance bag has more books than dance shoes in it. --Carla

. . . you find yourself saying, "We were studying last week, about . . ." and people look at you funny, and you don't know why. --Melinda

. . . you don't think about, but your friends are all talking about, school registration next year . . . or how many days until you go back to school. --Carrie

. . . the doctor's/dentist's/hairdresser's office is happy to schedule your child's appointment because you don't want one after 3pm or during a school holiday . . . or you can take advantage of off season rates because you make your own school holidays. --Carla

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Being overwhelmed - and healthcare.

The Relief Society president is away until the 10th August or something scary like that. GAH! She's amazing. How does she do it all?

Thing is, I feel totally inadequate for the job. I look at the other members of the presidency and I see well organized competence. And furthermore, they all seem to click together and know just what the right thing to do is. Then I look at myself and I see a round peg trying to figure out how on earth she's going to fit in this square hole.

Ask me to make lists. I can make 'em. Ask me to pull together a homeschool curriculum and schedule, and I'll salivate over the prospect and have no problem pulling it together. Piece of cake! And a fun piece of cake at that. Ask me organize some shelves...I can do that. Ask me to follow a formula where all I have to do is plug in the variables and I'm off and running. Yep. It's all good.

Ask me to attempt the Relief Society President's job? Uhhhhhh..... I'm sure the poor beleaguered bishop is thinking "Just four more weeks until Cara's back...."




In the meanwhile, and to take my mind off it, I believe I will waffle on about natural body care. Because it's random, that's why.


Lotion: Coconut oil
Verdict: FAIL

I attempted to use coconut oil as a lotion. Didn't work worth beans. Both Andrew and I came out in rough patches. We went back to using suave and it works SO much better. There must be some way to combine coconut oil with something else to aid in absorbtion, but I don't know what it is. So I gave up.



Shampoo: Baking soda and vinegar
Verdict: With modifications, WIN

Take two bottles with about a volume of 2 cups. Make sure they're different somehow or you'll get mixed up. It's better if they have a squirty cap. Mine don't and it's a bit of a pain.

Put 2 TBSP baking soda and 2 cups of water in one.
Put 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar and 2 cups of water in the other.
Shake 'em up.
Get yer hair wet.
Squeeze out about 1/2 cup of the baking soda water on yer head. Massage it into the scalp for about 30 seconds. No, it won't foam up. No, there is no lather. It's baking soda, not nasty chemicals.
Rinse well.
Do the same for the apple cider vinegar water.
Rinse well.
The end.

There is, apparently, some sort of adjustment period when you switch to this method of cleaning your hair. I never really had one. My hair just sort of went "Oh yum!" and that was that. My hair was SO much healthier. It felt different. I got fifteen gazillion comments at how soft and fluffy it was, and how much curlier it was etc. I loved the feel of it.

The feel is ..... different. My hair stays put. It does what I tell it. It's fluffy and bouncy, not limp and flat.

Unfortunately, after several months of this, I got dandruff. Ewwwwwwwwww!!!!!! I hate dandruff! White flakes on my black shirt. GROSS.

So this is my routine now: Shampoo with head and shoulders once a week, baking soda and vinegar the rest of the time.

Using shampoo again after not using it for a while was icky. My hair felt totally stripped and lifeless. It hung flat. Blah!!!

I'm sure there must be some way to stop this dandruff without resorting to H&S, but I have no idea what it is.



Deodorant: Coconut oil, cornstarch, baking soda, essential oil.
Verdict: WIN WIN WIN!

What I don't understand is WHY are we using these awful chemical deodorants when all we have to do is mix together cornstarch, baking soda and coconut oil and VOILA! the best deodorant I have ever used in my entire life ever ever and it costs next to nothing.

I added tea tree oil to my last batch, and lavender to this batch. Works wonders. Lasts forever; a little goes a long way.

I used straight coconut oil once. Worked great! You REALLY need a shower the next morning though, so no hopping to the pool before you shower or you'll gas everyone out. Furthermore, if you plan on exercising early in the morning, don't do it around other people.

Straight Baking soda worked a little better.

But a combination of the two with cornstarch is the ticket. It's faaaaaabulous! =)



Toothpaste: Baking soda

Verdict: WAY WIN!!!

Ok....WHY are we spending oodles of money on the stuff in the tube when we can dip our toothbrushes into baking soda and our teeth and gums will be cleaner, healthier, and it costs next to nothing?

I went to the dentist after using baking soda for about 4 months. The hygenist was absolutely impressed with the improvement in my teeth. Before I told her WHY my teeth were so much better, she commented on how little tartar there was, how I must be a really good flosser because of the lack of tartar, how great my gums were and how tight they were against my teeth; no icky pockets.

She could not believe how well I tolerated the cleaning. Last time I needed some special stuff on my teeth because they were so sensitive it absolutely KILLED - and she remembered. And yet this time there was no wincing, no jumping, no breathing through the pain, no hands gripped together and nails digging in and just enduring. She was amazed.

"You must have laid off the orange juice and yoghurt" she said, "as those things can really make your teeth sensitive."

She was rather impressed that not only had I not laid off those items, I had actually INCREASED by an incredible amount, my intake of orange juice and yoghurt.

The only thing that had changed was....I quit using toothpaste. I use baking soda. I floss. Then I swish with listerine to give my mouth that minty tang. The end.

EVERYONE needs to convert to using baking soda. Your teeth will feel so clean and awesome and fabulous you'll never go back to that hideous foamy stuff again.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Andrew

Conversation I just had with Andrew:

Andrew - "I'm really excited for my next birthday"
Me - "Are you? What are you going to do?"
Andrew - "Oh probably buy something. Liiiike....a birthday cake."
Me - "Oh, that will be nice."
Andrew - "Yes. And how about we put two candles on it? Or maybe we can put one?"

=D Ahhh, the simple desires of children. =)

Spelling Rules

So....if it's Use i before e except after c or when sounded like a as in neighbour or weigh

What's with Protein?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The joy and duty of motherhood (and fatherhood)

Ritsumei has some wonderful quotes on motherhood. They are very uplifting. These two are my favourites:


“When God wants a great work done in the world or a great wrong righted, he goes about it in a very unusual way. He doesn’t stir up his earthquakes or send forth his thunderbolts. Instead, he has a helpless baby born, perhaps in a simple home and of some obscure mother. And then God puts the idea into the mother’s heart, and she puts it into the baby’s mind. And then God waits. The greatest forces in the world are not the earthquakes and the thunderbolts. The greatest forces in the world are babies.”
-E.T. Sullivan, quoted by Gordon B. Hinckley



“Bring up your children in the love and fear of the Lord; study their dispositions and their temperaments, and deal with them accordingly, never allowing yourself to correct them in the heat of passion; teach them to love you rather than to fear you.”
-Brigham Young, quoted by Gordon B. Hinckley

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Facebook, values, and persecution.

Candace has a very interesting post concerning the censorship of conservative comments on social networking sites.

I recommend that you read it. Our freedoms are being eroded at a breathtaking pace, as Candace details in this eye-opening post here.

This is what I commented on her Facebook post:

"Seven months ago, during Stake Conference, our Stake President counseled not only the youth but ALL members of the stake to get rid of their facebook and myspace accounts. I believe he counseled us to do this because he'd seen an upsurge of online bullying and icky behaviour through social networking sites.

Our family immediately deleted our accounts, and we have been incredibly blessed thereby. Reading your post I felt a profound sense of peace and joy that we have not been associated with Facebook for seven months; and we only joined them a couple of months prior to that.

It's like when the First Presidency put out The Proclamation on the Family - what incredible foresight they showed! Who knew, all those years ago, when it seemed to be stating the obvious, that the tenets taught in that revelation would be so very very controversial now?

I believe there will come a time when those who uphold the principles contained in that revelation will be persecuted as badly as the early Saints.

The only problem is; the Saints moved West. Where can we go? Is there a safe, free land anywhere on Earth?"


I fear for the lives my children and grandchildren will lead. How can we keep them safe? Is there anywhere we can go?


YES!!!!

We can go to the Lord in prayer
We can go to church
We can go to the Temple
We can keep Zion in our homes by having regular prayer and scripture study both individually and as families.
We can keep Zion in our homes by having regular Family Home Evening and Family Councils.
We can make our homes a Temple on Earth.
We can teach our children that they are Children of God. I mean, literally!!! Our Literal Father is a GOD for goodness' sakes! As such we need to respect ourselves, our bodies, and all Heavenly Father's children.
And as public schools more and more become public sewers and brainwashing machines, we can bring our children home, and teach them all they need to know. There will come a time when this will be imperative if we do not wish to lose our children to the world.

The values our parents had, and followed as a matter of course, are gone now. Very few people follow them. Let us stand for Truth and Righteousness and Do What Is Right.

And may God bless us to be kind, gentle, thoughtful, and Christlike, even in the face of intense persecution.



Young Women's Theme

We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him. We will “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” as we strive to live the Young Women values, which are:

Faith
Divine Nature
Individual Worth
Knowledge
Choice and Accountability
Good Works and
Integrity

We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values,
we will be prepared to
strengthen home and family,
make and keep sacred covenants,
receive the ordinances of the temple,
and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.



Do What is Right
(if you click on the link you will be able to listen)

Do what is right; the day-dawn is breaking,
Hailing a future of freedom and light.
Angels above us are silent notes taking
Of ev’ry action; then do what is right!

[Chorus]
Do what is right; let the consequence follow.
Battle for freedom in spirit and might;
And with stout hearts look ye forth till tomorrow.
God will protect you; then do what is right!

Do what is right; the shackles are falling.
Chains of the bondsmen no longer are bright;
Lightened by hope, soon they’ll cease to be galling.
Truth goeth onward; then do what is right!

Do what is right; be faithful and fearless.
Onward, press onward, the goal is in sight.
Eyes that are wet now, ere long will be tearless.
Blessings await you in doing what’s right!




As Zion's Youth in Latter Days
As Zion’s youth in latter days,
We stand with valiant heart,
With promise shining in our eyes,
Resolved to do our part.
Upon a noble past we build;
The future fills our view.
We face the challenge of our day
And pledge we will be true.

The truths and values we embrace
Are mocked on ev’ry hand.

Yet as we listen and obey
We know we can withstand
The evils that would weaken us,
The sin that would destroy.
With faith, we hold the iron rod
And find in this our joy.

Thru test and trial we’ll have our fears,
But we will not despair.
We’re here to serve a righteous cause;
Truth gives us strength to dare.
We’ll love, and learn, and overcome;
We’ll sing a joyful song,
As Zion’s youth in latter days,
Triumphant, pure, and strong.



A rejection of the greatest gift

Errrrr.......

Brave and courageous??????

What an astonishing waste of human life.


Once society as a whole decided there was no God (That's like a hammer deciding it made itself and can make a house just fine...) then, of course, the idea that we are Children of that God disappeared.

Which means we're animals, and nothing special.
Which means it doesn't matter if we live or die.
Which means it's ok to kill ourselves.
Which means it's ok to kill tiny babies.
Which means, if we abort tiny babies, and horror of horrors, they actually survive the saline burns, it's ok to drown them, dismember them, or decapitate them. Yes, this happens. Yes, it's happening now. It's what abortion is, didn't you know? That's why a lot of abortionists have you deliver the baby into the toilet. If it's alive, it drowns.
Oh, unless you're thinking of the abortion where the baby doesn't survive? That's where they deliver the body of the baby, and before the head is out they shove a metal tube into the back of the skull and suck out it's brains. Because, you know, it would be so traumatic to hear the baby cry....and that baby would scream if its head were delivered.

This is a society without God. You're welcome to it.



Here's the text of the above link, just in case, in the future, the link disappears:

LONDON – British conductor Edward Downes, a longtime stalwart at the Royal Opera and maestro of the first-ever performance at Sydney's iconic Opera House, has died with his wife Joan at an assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland. He was 85 and she was 74.

The couple's children said Tuesday that the couple died "peacefully and under circumstances of their own choosing" on Friday at a Zurich clinic run by the group Dignitas.

"After 54 happy years together, they decided to end their own lives rather than continue to struggle with serious health problems," said a statement from the couple's son and daughter, Caractacus and Boudicca.

The statement said Downes, who became Sir Edward when he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1991, had become almost blind and increasingly deaf. His wife, a former dancer, choreographer and television producer, had devoted years to working as his assistant. British newspapers reported that she had been diagnosed with cancer.

Dignitas founder Ludwig A. Minelli said he could not confirm the deaths due to confidentiality rules.

Downes' manager, Jonathan Groves, said he was shocked by the couple's deaths, but called their decision "typically brave and courageous."

The deaths are the latest in a series of high-profile cases that have spurred calls for a legal change in Britain, where assisted suicide and euthanasia are banned.

Despite the law, British courts have been reluctant in recent years to convict people who help loved ones travel to clinics abroad to end their lives.

London's Metropolitan Police force said it had been notified of the deaths, and was investigating.

Born in 1924 in Birmingham, central England, Edward Downes studied at Birmingham University, the Royal College of Music and under German conductor Hermann Scherchen.

In 1952 he joined London's Royal Opera House as a junior staffer — his first job was prompting soprano Maria Callas. He made his debut as a conductor with the company the following year and went on to become associate music director. Throughout his life he retained close ties to the Royal Opera, conducting 49 different operas there over more than 50 years.

He also had a decades-long association with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, where he became principal conductor and later conductor emeritus.

Downes was known for his support for British composers and his passion for Prokofiev and Verdi, on whom he was considered an expert.

In the 1970s he became music director of the Australian Opera, conducting the first performance at the Sydney Opera House in 1973. He also worked with the Netherlands Radio Orchestra and ensembles around the world.

The couple is survived by their children, who said their parents "both lived life to the full and considered themselves to be extremely lucky to have lived such rewarding lives, both professionally and personally."

The family said there would be no funeral.



There will be no funeral. Yes. About as bizarre as thinking it's a wonderful thing that one's parents have just killed themselves.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Nifty Pictures

A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor executes a supersonic flyby




A large waterspout forms above the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Fla.




Children stand on "The Ledge" and look down through a glass floor 1,353 feet (412 meters) above Wacker Drive in Chicago. The Ledge is part of Skydeck Chicago located on the 103rd floor of the Sears Tower. This picture makes me want to scream, faint, and throw up.




A stingray leaps out of the water as it is hunted by a killer whale, whose fin can be seen below the ray, just off St. Heliers beach in Auckland, New Zealand.

Tuesday July 7th 2009

Family week was faaabulous. =) We went to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky and liked it so much we're definitely going back again soon.

It was wonderful not having the TV and computer. The computer came back on Saturday as I had to look up quotes for the lesson I was giving in RS on Sunday. The TV came back this evening. *sigh*. Such a bummer.

We're feeding a bunch of missionaries at Zone Conference tomorrow. I've baked 4 pans of brownies. I do hope the missionaries like them.

My friend Natalie and her children are coming over on Thursday. Hooray! I'm really looking forward to it.

Ben has 500 friends over at the moment. Well. ok. Three. But they're teenage boys so it FEELS like 500 of them. They've been really good kids. I bought them pizza and called them hideous evil children, so they're happy. =D

I forgot to read with Andrew today. Dang.

My friend Leah is putting her house on the market tomorrow. Her husband just finished dental school and is buying a practice in Colorado. Dang! She's so awesome. I'm going to miss them so much. I've been her Visiting Teacher forever. GAH! =(

But anyway, if you're moving to Franklin, their house is absolutely PERFECT. She really is an absolutely fabulous homemaker. Therefore if you're moving here you should probably look at their house. You'll love it.

Emily appears to be happy at BYU notwithstanding the oodles of work she has.

I've done well on my points this week, but I've eaten a brownie tonight as well as several large crumbs and then I licked the bowl. It was probably NOT smart to volunteer to make brownies for the missionaries. Lesson learned. Hopefully I won't have put any weight on this week.

It annoys me that I have to sign in to my own stinkin' blog every time I want to post something. I really want to make it open again. Think I can convince the family it's ok to do so? =)