We like technology

Categories: Science & Tech

Here’s the deal. Brett and I do love technology. We both have degrees in it (me just a minor, him a Bachelors and Masters). We spend a lot of time with our computers. We met on the internet. We put binary on our wedding invitations and plan to put it on our grave stone as well.

Which is why it’s kind of funny that we both, separately, thought that a series on Dilbert earlier this month was a little close to home.

Dilbert - 3 Dec 2014
Dilbert - 4 Dec 2014

We don’t even have basic cable (or Netflix of Hulu+ or any of those actually). And we don’t have texting as part of our phone plan either.

I started thinking about the technology we do have in our house now. We’ve been married for 5 years, which is a long time in the technology world. But the only technology items in our house that are newer than our marriage are Brett’s flip phone (bought the week after we got married), a set of computer speakers, the digital camera I got for Mother’s Day this year, and the new wireless router and adapter we bought a few months ago.

Both of our desk tops are older than our relationship (we’ll have known each other 9 years in January). I bought my netbook the month before we got engaged and my phone the year before (also a flip phone).

We are talking about doing something about our dinosaur-ness some time next year though. We’ll join this new modern age eventually.

Elves on Shelves

Categories: Random

There are a couple of things I really don’t enjoy about this time of year. There are a few songs that really should not be played even though they generally pass as Christmas songs.

There is one “timeless” tradition (the book was originally published in 2005) that seems to have sprung up almost over night, because someone figured out how to really market it. Elf on the Shelf. You have to have the official elf sold by the official Elf on the Shelf people or it doesn’t count. And then you have to drive yourself absolutely bonkers moving the elf around every night and making it get into all kinds of mischief all over your house. And if you really want to get into it they even have outfits you can buy for the elf to wear and its pet reindeer to add to the merriment.

Now, I’m sure there are people who absolutely love this whole elf thing (see Pinterest). And that’s just fine. The tradition of hiding an elf does exist in many families. I know that my grandpa had some elves made out of yarn that sat in inconspicuous places during the Christmas season. They’d been around for a long time. And the story is told of my uncle on the other side of my family who found a similar elf that my grandma had put out and beat it up explaining that it wasn’t going to tell on him to Santa.

So putting out little elves is probably a tradition. But that tradition did not involve as much planning and mess as the people on Pinterest would have you believe. Maybe we could go back to just putting the darn thing on a shelf and leave it at that.

What’s your opinion on the elf? Creepy and excessive or cute and fun? (Clearly I’m biased, but it’s my blog so I can do that.)

Tell me the stories of Jesus

Categories: Family, Gospel

Brett and I started reading the scriptures together in March of 2008. Almost a year before we agreed we were dating exclusively. More than a year and a half before we got married. We’d trade off whose place we were at on Sunday evenings and read several pages.

In 2008 we read the New Testament. We had some pretty crazy tangential discussions during those evenings and started our ever increasing number of inside jokes related to the scriptures very early on (Matthew 25 actually).

In 2009 we read the Doctrine & Covenants on Sundays and after we got married we threw the Pearl of Great Price into the mix to fill out the rest of the days of the week.

In 2010 we set out to read the entire Old Testament. And we almost did. We took a little weekend trip in February and left our reading chart at home and some time that weekend we skipped a page but we were never quite sure which page. So that year we read the entire Old Testament minus one page in Leviticus. That was also when we started noticing all the “good” Biblical names in Chronicles that nobody ever thinks of for their babies when they say they want a good Biblical name. So we picked out a handful, like Iddo, to use for our future children pre-conception, in utero, and as screen names after birth.

It took us till 2011 to finally get around to reading The Book of Mormon. That year we read the New Testament on Sundays and the Book of Mormon the rest of the week. We read it again in 2012.

Last year we decided to tackle the Old Testament again, but this time we were going to spread it out over 2 years, doing it all in one year was a lot of Old Testament. We read the Doctrine and Covenants on Sundays last year and the Old Testament the rest of the week. We continued reading the Old Testament this year.

Friday we finished the Old Testament cover-to-cover, not missing any pages. We started reading it 5.5 months before Iddo was born and she’s just over 17 months old now. That Old Testament is a LONG book. We’re going to finish out the year with The Pearl of Great Price again.

Not counting that mysterious page in Leviticus, by the end of this year we will have read all of the standard works twice together. It’s made for some great discussions and a lot of laughs too.

I Knit

Categories: Quilting/Sewing/Knitting/Crafting

When Iddo says “I knit” it means she sees an elephant. When I say “I knit” it means I take two knitting needles (or four) and some yarn and make something. This year I’ve made a few things I can show off before Christmas. The rest have to wait till after Christmas.

Iddo had her first birthday earlier this year and we happened to be with my family that day. I got it in my mind that I needed to knit everyone a tiny turtle as a party favor for her birthday. We even sent some to Grandma and Grandpa Dennis who joined the party via Skype. The adults at the party got the normal turtle colored turtles. The kids got one of the “poison dart” turtles. Iddo keeps hers in the diaper bag and for a while loved sucking on the head. I keep mine in my purse as a little reminder of my little turtle. Dad’s is on his desk. About half way through I wondered if I’d bitten off more than I could chew but then I figured out how to streamline attaching heads and legs and they actually went pretty fast.

Bale of Birthday Turtles Poison Dart Turtles

Way back in my sophomore year of college I started knitting my very first sweater. I’ve finished several hats, some baby booties, lots of wash cloths, many scarves, and a whole bunch of tiny knitted toys since then, but I had yet to finish a sweater. Saturday I finally finished a sweater. Except it wasn’t the one I cast on over 15 years ago. It was one I cast on less than a month earlier.

Last winter my dad knit Iddo a beautiful cardigan sweater to wear in our “cold” winter weather. She’s out grown it so I thought I’d see what I could do this year. I had to do a lot of lengthening of the different pieces to make it fit her so I’m glad I could measure it against her as I went. It isn’t as fancy as last year’s, and I need to work on a looser cast-on and my seams, but it’ll do for this year. She even likes wearing it when we go out, so that’s a definite plus. Brett picked out the color. We were trying to match her eyes and it’s a pretty close match.

Precious Sapphire Hoodie

Now, if she’d stop hugging my skeins and walking off with them while I’m trying to knit I might be able to get a few more projects done.

It was a good week for my news feed

Categories: Health, Learn Something

I learned several interesting things this week as I skimmed through the headlines in my news feed and elsewhere.

With regards to gratitude:
Facebook analyzed what English speakers in the US were most likely to be thankful for by state. The results were kind of interesting. People are actually thankful for YouTube? People need to get a life. Arizona being thankful for rain isn’t that surprising.

Researchers have done studies and determined that we are more grateful when we feel the person doing the service was acting out of their own free will rather than having been forced in some way or another to do the service. Makes sense to me. Nobody wants to feel like a project. But everyone loves getting cookies out of the blue.

With regards to dinosaurs:
Paleontologists are rather annoyed with Hollywood for ignoring the last 30 years of dinosaur research in the making of the new Jurassic Park movie. The movie dinosaurs are too big and don’t have any feathers. I find it rather funny but I’m going to side with the paleontologists on this one. Real dinosaurs are much more fascinating and reality is often much scarier than fiction.

With regards to health:
Being fat is responsible for a large percentage of new cancer cases, especially in North America. Interestingly, they expect the trend to only increase as economic prosperity spreads. People get rich. They get fat. They get cancer. Given my family history of cancer I’m willing to do whatever it takes to reduce my odds. Maintaining a healthy weight is definitely one of the things I can control.

Count your many blessings

Categories: Happy Things

Today’s the day a lot of people use to publicly express what they are grateful for. And that’s what I’d planned on doing today too. Because I do have a lot to be grateful for. Oh so many things.

But now that I’m full of good food and have spent the day with my family, it feels like any public list of my blessings would seem insincere. So I feel a bit stumped for just what to write tonight.

Last year we did an activity with the Young Women that was kind of like Scattergories. A random letter was chosen and they were given one minute to list as many blessings as they could that started with that letter. We did 10 or 12 rounds and at the end some of the young women had listed 150-200 blessings, all in under 12 minutes. I really hadn’t expected numbers that big. They taught me that counting your blessings isn’t hard.

So I’m going to count my blessings. And I’m going to express gratitude to the people who need to hear it. And I’m going to enjoy my cheese cake.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The 100 Most Influential People in Your Life

Categories: Life, Musings

At the end of every year magazines, news organizations, websites, all come out with their top 10 lists of events, people, songs, etc. Someone put together a list of who they consider to be the 100 most influential people of the last millennium. I think it’s a pretty good list. I might rearrange the order a bit if it were me, but it’s a start.

In college I took my history of civilization courses at BYU through the Special Collections at the library. As part of the final the second semester we had to write an essay about the most influential person in each century since the invention of the printing press. That final (that particular essay was only part of it) took me the entire allotted 3 hours, a blue book and a half, and I couldn’t straighten my arm or open my fingers when I finished because I’d been writing straight for the entire 3 hours. Gutenberg was definitely part of that essay.

My life is still being influenced, however I’m sure I could come up with the 100 most influential people in my own life already.

The list would of course include my parents, and those who helped them get together. And their parents, even though I did not know either of my grandmas well, the lives they lived have played a part in who I am today. I would not be who I am without my siblings who made growing up the adventure that it was. Brett is certainly one of the most influential people in my life, with an influence that grows daily. And our children, the one sleeping in her crib right now, the ones I never got the chance to meet in this life, and the ones I’ll meet in the future.

My list would include the teachers I had who encouraged me to be a teacher myself. The ones who helped me discover my interests in different subjects, who pushed me to be better. It would include the ones who gave me examples of the kind of teacher I wanted to be. It would include the professors who stretched my mind and showed me there was more possible then I’d yet imagined. And the students I’ve had. The ones who opened my heart wide and crawled right in, the ones who challenged me, the ones who excited me with their enthusiasm.

My list would include the church leaders and teachers who helped me understand the gospel as well as those who helped me understand the type of leader and teacher I wanted to be when I grew up. It would include the teachers and leaders I’ve served with as an adult. Especially the three who helped Brett and I get together and the one who helped us as our doula when Iddo was born.

And friends. Oh the friends I’ve had. A lot of them I’m no longer in contact with because no matter how strongly you promised to write when one or the other moved, it never lasted. But that doesn’t change their influence. I wonder if our children will have that problem since social media has made it easy to stay in contact with/stalk just about everyone you meet. Some came into my life and filled a need at the time and we’ve since moved on. Others are still actively influencing my life.

The list would also include a few who wouldn’t immediately come to mind because their influence didn’t exactly come about in a positive way. Like the girl in 7th-grade who decided she hated me and tried to get everyone else to hate me and by the end of the year had no friends. She taught me that I should be myself and those who mattered would see the truth. Which is why about 7 years ago when another girl decided she hated me and tried to get everyone else to hate me, I mainly just laughed.

There are so many people in my life who have had an influence, large and small, who probably do not know the difference they made in my life. It makes me hope that the influence I’m having on those around me is a positive one even if I wouldn’t make their list of the top 100 people.