Sunday, April 27, 2008


I have been really enjoying my recent discovery of goodreads and I thought that some of you might like it too, so I sent you invites. I have really been enjoying the chance to keep a list of books that I'd like to read and write reviews of things I have read. I've done a lot more reading in the last month or so. I hope you don't mind the invite, don't feel obligated to join if you don't want to.

(By the way, my profile—linked above is public, so you can see it. If that makes you nervous you can set it to be seen only by people that you accept as your friends. Ryan's is like that—you can check it out before you add him as a friend, just look him up with the search function.)


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Great Sunflower Project

A friend told me about this project. You plant some sunflowers in your yard (they send you the seeds) and when they are blooming you time how long it takes for 5 bees to come to the sunflowers. I thought it would be great fun with your kids.

Here is the link

I also thought while you were planting sunflowers you might be interested in the sunflower fort idea.

The new us.

So about two weeks ago we had joy school at our house, the lesson was about how each person is unique and special. One of the things we did was write down lots of things about each child's physical appearance; for example, height weight, hair color, eye color. As I was preparing for the lesson I realized that our bathroom scale was broken (and had been for a long time) consequently Matt and I went and bought a new one. As soon as we got home form the store we weighed ourself. OUCH we both were heavier then we wanted to be. So I decided it was time to get super serious about us loosing weight. Most of you know I have had a hard time loosing weight since Grace was born but now was the time. anyway that was two weeks ago and I have lost 9 lbs. I don't know how much Matt has lost but for me 9 lbs is HUGE. So how are we doing it. Mostly be eating small meals and snacks that are lower in calorie. We plan snacks 3 a day and each one needs to be 100 calories or less. The problem is that I love cookies. (and Matt loves icecream) I don't have a solution for the ice cream problem but I have found two recipes that are less then 100 calories that are still tasty. So here they are.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Muffins (2 cookies for 89 calories)

½ cup raisins (or try substituting chopped dried cherries)

½ cup whole wheat flour

½ cup quick oats

1/3 cup Splenda (or regular white sugar)

¾ teaspoon baking powder

¾ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup low fat plain yogurt

1/3 cup no sugar added applesauce (or try substituting canned pumpkin)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 egg while

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray 18 mini muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray

Stir together raisins and all dry ingredients in medium bowl. In separate bowl , mix together remaining ingredients and add to dry ingredients, stirring just until incorporated. Spoon into prepared muffin tins and bake12 to 14 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean

Makes 18 mini muffins/cookies

Whole Grain Sugar Cookies Recipe From Set for Life Yield 40 medium cookies


1 c low fat margarine (I like bluebonnet)

3 c hard white wheat flour

1 c sugar

1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp soda

2 eggs

1/4 c white flour1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c plain yogurt, or sour cream, or buttermilk


1. Cream shortening, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.

2. Mix in yogurt.

3. Stir in rest of ingredients.

4. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes.

5. Preheat oven to 375°

6. Roll into balls, place on ungreased cookie sheet, do not flatten.

7. Bake for about 8 minutes; do not over bake.

8. Frost when cool.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Accumulated thoughts

I was walking past Starbucks the other day. The music playing inside was the theme from "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." A little part of me died.

Autocross in the rain is possibly the most fun you can have in a car. For maximum entertainment, make sure the traction control is off. Please note: if you are going sideways, the speedometer tends to be unreliable.

Dilemma: is believing in the Jazz worth the risk? If you believe and they lose the pain is that much worse. But if you don't believe and they do win, the victory is not as sweet. Being able to say "I told you so" is hardly comforting when they lose. Is this the same as Pascal's wager? Or do the actual probabilities matter?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Mom and Dad's new TV

I thought I would share the project at Mom and Dad's house in between conference sessions yesterday.  Well they got a new TV upstairs because the TV downstairs died.  The TV from upstairs went downstairs and the new TV got installed upstairs.  They went with a flat panel LCD from Samsung.  It is really nice.  

So here is what it looks like now.  I thought everyone would be interested to see the new setup.  

Friday, April 4, 2008

Long, random comments by Matt

I have talked with Heather and also with one of the other guys in the bishopric several times about how parents are terrified of letting children fail. The discussion with 2 points made in my mind: 1) We don't let our kids make mistakes/fail enough. 2) When they do fail, we don't let our kids see/feel the consequences of the mistakes/failure.

Parents have a hard time letting their kids do things for fear they might get hurt, or they might not be successful at it, or somebody might kidnap them, or they might be around bad influences, or they might dump the whole gallon of milk on the floor instead of some into the bowl (not that this has _ever_ happened at my house), etc.

Today I saw an article that made me think about this a little more. Some lady left her 9 year old in New York City to get home by himself (on purpose).

With Heather the discussion leads to a parenting strategy called "Love and Logic". We took a class on it, and it makes a lot of sense. I just need to use it more. One of the examples they give is: let your kids mess up by buying the $10 junky toy car at the museum, then learn the hard way that quality matters when it breaks 20 minutes later. The other option is having them spend $5,000 for a piece of junk car when they are 19 and learn the _really_ hard way that quality matters.

With the guy in the bishopric, it leads to the end results. We talk about kids that have been shielded from the consequences of their choices a lot in their lives. Their parents bail them out every time there is a consequence. We talk about the lack of responsibility in these kids' lives, and how effects it is going to have on them long term. My favorite story about this is one I heard about a guy who missed work 1 too many times. The company attendance policy dictated that he face disciplinary action for missing work too many times. His mom called work to tell them that he was sick and it should be an excused absence. She fully expected to take the consequences away. She expected him to get off the hook because it always worked in High School. The funny part is, the guy was 30 (or something like that), and didn't even live at home.

I think it is a fine line to draw, but one I see myself erring too far on the side of caution. I am going to try to do more to empower my kids and let them learn from mistakes. We need to let kids make mistakes and fail on the little things so when the big things come up, they have already learned the hard way. My parents did an awesome job of this. I am not sure I did a great job at learning the lessons, but they let me make the mistakes and were there to help me when I needed it.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

New Friends in the Neighborhood

I can't remember what we tell who, so I thought I'd share our good fortune here. There is a new LDS family who moved into the neighborhood yesterday. They are straight down Greenbrier (the street in front of our house) all the way to the end. It's walkable! Even better they have kids our kids ages—almost exactly. We went down on Tuesday to celebrate their daughter Maggie's one-year birthday. Their daughter Lydia turned 3 in the first part of February. They have one older boy who is 5 named Evan. He and Ian play well together too. I watched their kids yesterday while Jennifer directed movers. (Dan had to work.) Even better than all that is that we like them, both. Yeah! Here are some pictures from Tuesday when hung out with them in their new (and empty) house.

Oh, Molly isn't walking, but she is close (and mobile enough to steal cake).

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Fun in Tooele...

I heard Daniel will be competing in this new reality series. Is that true?