Not Ready

Categories: Family, Gospel, Life

Children may begin attending the nursery class as soon as they reach the age of 18 months.
Handbook 2: Administering the Church, Section 11.4.3

In just over a week Shimri and Shimei will be 18 months old. You’re not alone, I’m not sure how that happened so fast either. Because they can’t possibly be that old already. I know I’m definitely not ready for them to be that old. I keep focusing on the word “may” in the instructions above. They may start nursery at 18 months, but they don’t have to. So maybe I’ll just keep them with me for a while longer.

You see, I went in to teaching as a career in large part because I love watching people learn. I love seeing that light come on in their eyes. I love watching people put together the pieces of the world till they make sense. And it has been my greatest privilege and honor to be able to be there for all of those moments in our kids’ lives thus far. There have been very few moments where I have not been there to see Shimri and Shimei learn something. I know everything they know because I’ve watched them learn it. I’ve been there when they figured things out. I’ve watched them work out a logic for what they see around them. And it has been wonderful.

But with them starting nursery there will suddenly be other teachers in their lives. There will be two hours each week when I’m not watching them learn. I won’t get to see that light come on when they figure something out in nursery. I’ll miss that. I had the same reservations when Iddo started nursery almost two years ago. Our kids are one of my greatest sources of entertainment and I miss them when I’m not with them.

Isn’t that the point though? I want our children to be independent. To go out into the world and learn all kinds of things that I haven’t even thought of yet so I can’t even begin to teach it to them. Shimri is going to take some time to warm up to the idea of nursery (not being away from me, but just the whole situation will need to be carefully observed and judged by her, just like she does all new situations). Shimei is going to bound in and take over the place. And Iddo will be there for the next two months to make sure they’re both okay before she starts Sunbeams.

They will all be fine in nursery. But this is the first in a long line of letting-gos I’ll have to do over the next many years. And while they’re ready for it, maybe I’m not.

Well now this is interesting.

Batty about Family Home Evening

Categories: Family, Featured, Gospel, With the Kiddos

This is how one thing led to another and we had a bat-themed Family Home Evening last night.

Random Giggles | Batty about Family Home Evening

I saw a craft on Pinterest where they made hanging bats out of toilet paper tubes and I thought that would be a fun thing for Iddo to do to help decorate our house for Halloween. We wrapped paper around our tubes instead of painting them.

And then I realized we have a bat cookie cutter. And we always have cookies for our treat for Family Home Evening.

So I decided we’d make bat cookies for the treat (Iddo would cover that, with help), make bat decorations for the activity (I’d get that set up), and then told Brett he needed to figure out a 3-year-old appropriate gospel lesson related to bats. Good luck!

We started our evening by taking our traditional walk around the neighborhood. We often see bats flitting around in the twilight, especially in the summer, and were hoping to see some this week too, but no luck. Instead as we walked we talked about how bats sleep during the day and then are awake at night. Since they can’t carry flashlights like we were to help them see at night they needed to be able to tell where they are without using their eyes. We talked about how they use sound and echos to help them know where they are.

When we got home we sang “Faith” and then Brett put a blindfold on Iddo and asked her if she’d be able to ride her bike or go play with her eyes covered. Nope. Then he asked her if she could walk to me. I started talking and telling her to come and she walked right to me. Then Brett asked her if she could walk around the kitchen table (a favorite activity in our house) with the blindfold on. Nope. But if he held her hand and guided her she could do it. He took her blindfold off and talked to her about how we can’t see Heavenly Father but we can feel him in our heart, like how she feels when she visits the temple with us, and that he will guide her when she needs help. Awesome lesson!

Can you go ride your bike like this? Heavenly Father will take our hands and guide us

We made our bats and hung them from various lights in the house.

Making bats
Silly bats sleep upside-down

We ate our bat cookies.

bat cookies

And just for fun, I used the same bat cookie cutter to put an impression in some craft foam and then cut around the lines and she got to stick them to the tub walls for her bath.

bats in the bathtub

Bats and faith. A great combination.


Categories: Life

Fifteen years ago I was student teaching in Mexico. It was a great experience and I loved it there. By the time school let out that afternoon the borders had been closed and I realized I was on the wrong side of them to be with my family. On Saturday the 15th I rode the bus to the nearby larger city with the other student teachers so we could do some exploring. The 16th of September marks the start of the war for Mexican Independence from Spain. There were Mexican flags flying everywhere in preparation for that the following day. But what stood out to me was how many American flags were flying and the support that country had for mine.

Terrorists had tried to instill fear and separation with the result of us coming together in love and unity. Fifteen years later we don’t need the terrorists to separate us, we’re doing a pretty good job of that on our own. We would do better to remember the good that day brought out in everyone, remember to believe in the good we all have in us.

I love this segment from Bones season 8, “The Patriot in Purgatory” where they discuss what happened on September 11, 2001.

Olympic Stuffs and the Closing Ceremonies

Categories: Olympics

Olympic ringsAnd the last of the commentary from our crack team of commentators.


Amanda: There’s a woman in this 800m heat wearing a full t-shirt and calf length pants. She’s last by a bit, unfortunately. But she just looks like a normal person. Looks like she’s from Egypt. Finished 20 seconds behind the 7th person.

Amanda: The mother of an American in the 800 heat was a popular fitness guru and trainer with lots of workout videos in the 70s and 80s and was also a pioneering female distance runner. Fascinating.

Amanda: Ugly fall in the men’s steeple chase.

Amanda: A tiebreaker in equestrian jumping is calleda jump off.

Amanda: 5000m runners are so sweaty.

NBC at Men’s indoor volleyball: You might want to capitalize that lazy like you’re yelling in a text.
Um, okay.

Lisa: They said the French equestrian guy has a flailing style. I can’t decide if that’s an actual thing or just that guy’s thing based on how they said it.
Iddo: They’re wearing helmet hats.

Lisa: I love that in the second heat of the 5k there was a guy who was timing himself with his own watch.

Lisa: Kayaks are far too narrow for me to ever want to get in one. Boats should be wider than my shoulders.

Lisa: Phelps is in Phoenix now. He’ll be an assistant coach at Arizona State now.
Amanda: Interesting.
Lisa: I’m surprised he didn’t stay for the closing ceremonies.
Amanda: Me too. Kate Ledecky came home today. I follow the airport she flew into on Instagram and they posted a video of her homecoming. And then it popped up on other local news feeds.
Lisa: Lochte’s lawyer says he’s home too.
Amanda: That situation is a little ridiculous.

Watching the hurdlers knock the hurdles over and realizing there are no judges deducting points for that, Brett has decided he’s going to train for the hurdles and just push them over.
Amanda: Ha! I’d watch that.

Amanda: Somehow, this is the first piece I’m seeing from Mary Carillo these entire games. Maybe there have been more while I’ve been at rehearsal, but I haven’t seen them.
Lisa: I’ve been wondering where her bits are. I like her.
Amanda: Me too. There are a LOT Of events in the summer, more than winter. So there probably just hasn’t been time. Relatedly, I wish I’d seen more Omnium this year. Apparently it’s like the decathlon of biking. Why haven’t we seen any of that? They interviewed a medalist this morning and that’s the first I had heard of it.
Lisa: I just looked it up and apparently this is only the second time it’s been in the Olympics.

The women’s 100m hurdles – WOW! Go moms with their babies at the end!

Men’s triathlon tomorrow. The London one was awesome. I’m excited for this one.


Amanda: Two people capsized immediately after completing the Canoe Sprint.
Lisa: If you’re going to capsize, that’s the time to do it.
Amanda: True. I think at least one of the capsized was a medalist.
Lisa: Iddo is a bit concerned with the capsizing.
Amanda: There are shots of them celebrating. They’ll still get water in their eyes but otherwise they’ll be OK. If that helps.
Lisa: Didn’t know you could lunge to the finish in a boat. Iddo did point out their faces were above the water.
Amanda: Hehe. Also, I did not know that either.

Amanda: If you need a two hour window to get stuff done, the US-Serbia indoor volleyball match that started before noon is now in its 5th set. No idea if I missed anything else if they took glimpses at other events, but this game started while I was still at the [car] dealership.
Lisa: I’d rather see other events than entire volleyball or handball games.
Amanda: Agreed.
Lisa: MSNBC is showing the entire semifinal handball game between France and the Netherlands but only a 30 second summary of the men’s triathlon. Lame broadcast scheduling.
Amanda: *thumbs down* Looks like the last 90 minutes of daytime broadcasting is going to be a documentary about the Karolyis.
Lisa: Weird. Because there was nothing exciting today.
Amanda: Nothing at all.
Lisa: NBC says they are going to show flipping swimming now. Unfortunately it’s right at nap time.
Amanda: Flipping swimming was cool. I wonder if platform is more difficult because you don’t get any bounce help. Or does the bounce make it harder?
Lisa: They said that if you time the bounce wrong it messes it up.
Amanda: That makes sense.

Amanda: Related to your video [of Shimri], I haven’t seen any rhythmic gymnastics. What’s up with that?
Lisa: It starts tomorrow.
Amanda: That’s a good reason.

Lisa: Go shot put screams!
Amanda: Absolutely necessary.
Lisa: Definitely.

Amanda: My plans tomorrow evening have been canceled due to illness. It occurs to me that I could do nothing but watch Olympics all day tomorrow. I’ll probably choose to do some other things too, but there will be a lot of Olympics tomorrow. Also, some of the divers are a little more chesty. Their swimsuits are also not compression suits.
Lisa: We’ve basically been doing just Olympics all day. It’s only every two years. So that’s moderation.
Amanda: I think it’s totally okay. And you guys have done Olympic crafts and other fun things. Pouring rain for beach volleyball.

Lisa: Go Eatons! Go Bolt!
Amanda: Yay Eatons! Did Bolt with the 200?
Lisa: He did. And he had a Brazilian flag around his neck and held a Jamaican flag high for his victory lap.
Amanda: Awesome.
Lisa: He Ledeckied the race.
Amanda: So he won by a lot?
Brett: Why does he need his guns (biceps) to run?
Amanda: Is this golf man wearing an ascot?
Lisa: It was him, and then a few feet and everyone else all bunched up.
Amanda: Nice.
Lisa: If he’s got an ascot, he could easily have a top hat too.
Amanda: Totally. When we cut back out of this feature thing, hopefully we’ll get a close up. What about guns and running?
Lisa: Brett doesn’t understand the importance of biceps to the sprinters.
Amanda: I think it’s just a wide tie and unbuttoned collar. Pretty fancy for sports. I don’t know that I understand why runners need biceps, but I do know that people who only do strength training on one portion of their bodies (legs or arms) look pretty funny. We’ve reached 100 medals.
Lisa: I’m sure I can find strength training articles on Runners World.
Amanda: Probably.
Lisa: There is no part of my body that moves as fast as sprinters run.
Amanda: Same.

Amanda: Canadian High Jump Info-Graphic
Lisa: I love that info-graphic.
Amanda: me too.


Amanda: The father of a French equestrian rider, and I think a medalist himself, is actually the coach of a Moroccan rider. Interesting. And apparently if you destroy the jump and knock down all the rails you still only get four faults. The Eatons collect Christmas decorations and ornaments on their travels so they don’t forget all the places they’ve gone for competition. Blake and I do too, because we got married at Christmas. Rebecca Lowe had a baby in April. I like that she looks like a normal woman who had a baby a few months ago.
Lisa: I had no idea horses were right or left handed. Are all animals handed?
Amanda: I didn’t either. I wouldn’t be surprised. I’ll try to remember to watch Malcolm tonight as he eats dinner and see if he prefers a hand.
Lisa: They said they are born preferring to jump off either left or right turns and have to be trained to be ambidextrous.
Amanda: I remember that. didn’t think about the connection to all animals.
Lisa: I just figure it would be strange if it were just humans and horses. Watch if Malcolm turns clockwise or counterclockwise.
Amanda: I agree. It would be strange. I will!

Amanda: Max Holt of men’s volleyball looks like the villain of a TV show Blake and I watch.
Lisa: He doesn’t look super scary.
Amanda: Nah, but if someone told me they were brothers, I would believe them.
Lisa: One reason I’m not good at volleyball is I won’t throw myself to the floor for a ball.
Amanda: That’s a good reason. Probably one of several reasons I’m not good at it.
Lisa: It’s strange that some of them have used tape to give themselves webbed fingers.
Amanda: or straight fingers.
Lisa: Their fingers can separate, but not far. They’ve webbed them.
Amanda: Right. I noticed that. But there are a few who have taped their fingers so it doesn’t look like they can bend.
Lisa: That I can understand if they’ve taped them to use one as a splint for the other.
Amanda: Definitely, but the fingers I’ve seen taped straight were not together.

Amanda: I forgot BMX biking is an Olympic sport! Why have we not seen this!?
Lisa: I think BMX is just starting.
Amanda: It was the gold medal races and they said something about “she’s been racing well all week.”
Lisa: Then it means NBC has odd broadcasting priorities.
Amanda: Yes it does. One day, they should offer a menu to everyone and not just the people who can afford the unlimited cable and Internet Olympic streaming packages.

Lisa: There is no backstroke relay. I like the mixed gender-ness of equestrian. And the huge variety of ages.
Amanda: I like it too. There’s also no breaststroke or butterfly relay. Just the freestyle and the medley.

Amanda: Malcolm pulled on his feeder with his right paw and was going at it in a clockwise circle. But I only started watching toward the end. I will watch again tomorrow.

Lisa: We need a hurdles relay.
Amanda: That would get complicated.
Lisa: Exactly. If they claim to be the best, let’s see it.
Amanda: Hehe. They’d have to have some speedy assistance if hurdles get knocked over that have to get jumped over again.
Lisa: Or that could just make it more difficult for following legs.
Amanda: And dangerous.
Lisa: It’s not like we’re lighting them on fire.
Amanda: Ha! But tripping and face planting still hurts.

Lisa: Iddo has figured out we generally wear blue. So then she asks where the athlete in red is from, and if I can’t figure it out I say Canada.
Amanda: If they aren’t Asian, that’s probably true.

Brett: Do you think it’s a coincidence that Trinidad and Tobago are always right next to each other?

Brett: I’m actually liking the Olymics this time and I think it’s because I’ve been watching them.
Amanda: *snort*
Lisa: He qualified it by saying he’s seeing the back stories of the athletes and so he cares about how they do now.
Amanda: Haha. It does help.
Lisa: It does.
Amanda: I’m rooting for a Brit in platform diving for that reason.

Lisa: I’m finding the relay teams’ entrances into the stadium to be funny.
Amanda: I was amused by the Canadians finishing zipping up their uniforms.
Lisa: The coordinated waves/pretend sword drawing/shirt zipping are funny. Japan drew imaginary swords and then sheathed them.
Amanda: Love it.
Lisa: China didn’t do anything.
Amanda: Lame.
Lisa: Jamaica all pointed straight at the camera.
Amanda: Nice.


Lisa: TV Guide says we are supposed to be watching canoe/kayak and diving. Instead we’re watching volleyball. I’d rather watch canoe/kayak and diving.
Amanda: Totally agreed.

Brett and Iddo went shopping and were supposed to be getting stuff for our Closing Ceremony sushi.
Brett: Sushi nori sheets. I don’t even know what those are, but I bet they’re with the Asian stuff.
Iddo: I like Asians.

Amanda: Apparently there is nothing more exciting happening in the Olympics than watching the entirety of the women’s basketball medals ceremony. First they read off the names, then pass out the medals, then the medal holders. Just no getting to the silver medalists.
Lisa: Oof.

Amanda: Turned in just in time to catch replay of the end of the gold medal soccer match. Excellent moment.
Lisa: I saw the first half of the game and then Iddo and I had to go do errands. I was cheering for both sides.
Amanda: Why Germany?
Lisa: They have a set of twins and the same country has never won men’s and women’s before.
Amanda: Those are good reasons.

Amanda: Mo Farrah is praying after his 5K. He even sort of brushes off a hug so he can pray.
Lisa: I really like him.
Amanda: Me too. Drama in the men’s 5000m.
Lisa: Probably not the good kind of drama if you’re mentioning it that way.
Amanda: Not really.
Lisa: Mo barely reaches Bolt’s shoulder.
Amanda: Ha!

Amanda: Nice feature about the women’s tri today.

Amanda: Ryan Lochte re-dyed his hair to a normal color. Probably an image thing as he comes clean. Also, don’t just apologize for lying/exaggerating. Apologize for doing the thing in the first place.
Lisa: I read that one of the four swimmers is sticking to the original story.
Amanda: *sigh*
Lisa: Right. And don’t blame language barriers on your stupidity.
Amanda: Also, I read something that pointed out that Lochte has 10 years of international competition and partying experience. He knows how to get around language barriers. Ugh. A few minutes with Lochte and Lauer was sufficient. Can we get back to sports? Specifically said he feels embarrassed taking focus away from the games. While he’s taking air time away from them. Blerg.
Lisa: Blerg is right.
Amanda: Apparently we heard 14 minutes of a 20 minute interview. We will hear the rest on the Today Show on Monday. Well other people will, I won’t.

Lisa: Here goes Mo!
Amanda: Yay Mo!
Lisa: Yea Mo!!! I saw some jostling during the middle. Is that where the drama comes from?
Amanda: Yes.
Lisa: It didn’t look like Mo was involved.
Amanda: He wasn’t. He’s OK.
Lisa: Oh good.

Commentators at men’s platform diving: “Does he need to score more than 100 points here?” “I think it would be a good idea for him to do that.”

Amanda: Love watching Olympians get emotional about their spouses and kids. This time it was David Boudeia.
Lisa: Yea Boudeia (he has all the vowels in his name) and his family!

Amanda: I think you’ll like the feature about the gaucho.
Lisa: My brother’s mission has one of the world’s largest rodeos. I had the best Italian food in my life in Brasil.

Amanda: The sound of an entire soccer stadium singing the Brazilian national anthem is beautiful.
Lisa: And they all sang too. Americans don’t do that.
Amanda: Not really no.

Lisa: Belgium twins and their brother took fourth in the men’s 4×400.


Amanda: The BYU Professor finished 6th in the marathon!

Brett (watching rhythmic gymnastics for the first time, happened to be the Spanish team): Huh. And I thought the only thing Spain was good for was rice.
Amanda: He gets another one of these:

Brett: Bowl-R-Us got 18. They’re out of medal contention.
Lisa: Who?
Brett: Bowl-R-Us.
Lisa: Belarus. There is no country called Bowl-R-Us.
Brett: Oh, like there’s a country called Belarus.
Amanda: Hehe. Brett’s not really this clueless about international things is he?
Lisa: He’s a bit clueless about small Eastern European countries.
Amanda: Spain isn’t that small.
Lisa: No. But he’s never seen rhythmic gymnastics before. He knows Spain’s history. But even I’m having a hard time thinking of what they’re up to lately.
Amanda: Yeah, I got nothing. A Spanish woman won high jump. So they have that.
Lisa: High jump is something.
Amanda: Yes it is.

Calendar problems

Closing Ceremonies

Blake (after seeing an awkward military lady): That’s the difference between the US and other militaries. We spend money on guns and training, they buy fancy scarves.

Lisa: The flag is bigger than Simone.
Iddo (upon seeing Simone): She did all the jumping.

Amanda: Why are the Canadians wearing mittens?
Lisa: Because it is 60 degrees and raining.
Amanda: That’s Canadian summer.

Amanda: There’s a bit about saudades in lots of different languages.
Lisa: Cool!

O poema “Saudade”, escrito e interpretado por Arnaldo Antunes. Confira:

não tenho saudades
do que vivi
porque tudo
está aqui

dentro de mim
como um fígado
um pâncreas
um rim

não tenho saudades
do que vivi
porque tudo
continua aqui

na superfície da pele
que em mim sente
o vento do passado
no presente

não tenho saudades
do que vivi
(vi ouvi sonhei senti)
pois já se tornou
o que sou

não tenho saudades
do que vivi

tenho saudades do que viveram
aqueles com quem convivi

não do que vi, do que viram
não do que ouvi, do que ouviram
do que sonharam, sentiram
as pessoas que perdi

Lisa: How’s the rain affecting it?
Amanda: Not slowing anything down.
Lisa: Good. There was a power outage earlier so hopefully they don’t have any problems with that.
Amanda: Haven’t noticed any. This dance part is cool in the rain.
Lisa: My mom was just saying that. Megan loves her a good samba.
Iddo (noticing everyone wearing rain gear): Everyone is wearing a bag.

Lisa: Love the kids with the light hats being the stars on the flag during the national anthem. Cute!

Shimri loved the music with the lace part.

We agree the Kenyan national anthem is beautiful.

Amanda: Loving the transfer ceremony.
Lisa: That is an awesome prime minister!
Amanda: I know! I think Dr. Seuss inspired this part. But the extinguishing of the flame was beautiful.
Lisa: That always makes me cry.

Amanda: There’s a woman threatening to fall out of her top. Not surprised really.
Lisa: It’s not as big a deal down there.
Amanda: Fair enough. If she’s cool with it, then whatever.
Lisa: I don’t think my breasts are firm enough for that samba outfit.
Amanda: I don’t think mine are either.

We know this guy! His daughter is friends with Iddo.
Samba party!

Amanda: How did Bob Costas do on his sign off?
Lisa: He’d definitely been practicing.

The only event I didn’t see any of was the modern pentathlon.

Join us in 2018 when we not only commentate on the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, but also compete in our very own Living Room Figure Skating competition. Should be some exciting stuff.

Go Olympic Person!

Categories: Olympics

Olympic ringsSome more thoughts from our Olympic commentating team of Brett, Amanda, Iddo, and myself. This time from Friday through Tuesday.


What’s with all the websites doing stories where they act like athletes giving glory to God is an unusual thing? It’s God and Mom and always has been for athletes.

Lisa: The women’s 10k was awesome. I didn’t know they did it on the track though. That’s crazy.
Amanda: Go Ethiopia! That would be too many laps around the track for me, but it was a cool race.
Lisa: I’ve thought a 5k on a track was too many laps.
Amanda: If you’re running that far, you might as well be going somewhere.
Lisa: Exactly. That’s too hamster wheel for me.

I like the South African rowing uniforms. They’ve taken the stripe of their flag from their leg up their torso.

NBC Commentator: Does it get more exciting than equestrian? Neigh!
Amanda: Terrible.
Lisa: I give it a gold tomato.
Amanda: Heh. Works for me.
Lisa: More sports should require top hats.
Amanda: Maybe. But I’m having a hard time coming up with any other sport where they wouldn’t look totally ridiculous.
Lisa: Maybe that’s the point.
Amanda. Heh. Fair enough. I’m in.

The US almost lost to Serbia in basketball. Commentator saying they are uninspiring and not playing like a team. Just what I was saying about the whole NBA.

Amanda: Photog helped the shot put winner get a flag from her dad. :heart:

Men’s 100m butterfly – Wow!

Amanda: I like the Italian sports bras more than the American. The American ones just seem so inefficient.
Lisa: A good sports bra is key for us chesty athletes.
Amanda: Seriously. I love mine.
Lisa: I had to get a new one and we’re still working out our relationship. It rubs my collar bones wrong.

Amanda: Johnny Weir, your hair is dumb. Also, everything I’ve wanted to happen tonight in the Olympics has happened.
Lisa: Sounds like a good night.
Amanda: It has been. I’m especially happy about the men’s 50m. But I’d rather watch Mary Carillo than Johnny Weir/Tara Lipinkski anyway. I don’t understand Weir’s fashion choices at all. But maybe they are the right choice to tell us about samba and Carnivale. The only thing missing is why Carnivale is celebrated at all. Isn’t it right before Lent?
Lisa: It is.
Amanda: Yeah, they left that part out.
Lisa: It’s Fat Tuesday.
Amanda: I thought so. So they ignored the religious aspect. Though some/many of the celebrants may ignore that part too.
Lisa: Oh, they do. Everyone is non-practicing Catholic down there.
Amanda: As in they do ignore it? And just party?
Lisa: Yup.
Amanda: Same with New Orleans probably.
Lisa: Exactly.
Amanda: Alas.


Amanda: The French just had an awesome save in indoor volleyball.
Lisa: We figured out that “flipping swimming” is diving. Iddo was glad to see it. I liked watching the water spiral out of their hair as they put themselves through the spin cycle.
Amanda: Heh. That is fun. And Iddo’s name for it makes sense.
Lisa: It’s more descriptive.
Amanda: It’s true.
Lisa: Just finishing the first set of the France/US volleyball game.
Amanda: The cool save is in the 4th set.
Lisa: You’re only 2 hours ahead of us on broadcast.
Amanda: My brain is too melted to do that math, but that’s possible.

Lisa: That was definitely an awesome save.

Amanda: Mo Farrah gave a shout out to his 4 kids.
Lisa: I like Mo.
Amanda: I like him too. His race is a good one tonight.

Lisa: Soccer players can’t sing. But they do.
Amanda: Can you hear them singing?
Lisa: You could hear the Columbia and Brasil players singing their anthems before their game.
Amanda: Ah.

Amanda: I don’t understand why there is not a women’s 1500 swimming race. I like that the bell is an actual hand bell and Blake noticed that every swimmer gets their own bell, which makes sense.
Lisa: The commentators were commenting on the distance thing too. I could go to the Olympics as a bell ringer. I can count.
Amanda: I would join you for that.

Amanda: I think the yellow and green haired sprinter is wearing a wig.
Lisa: I don’t know. But I have noticed there is a difference in concerns about aerodynamics between swimming and running.
Amanda: I can kind of see hair around her ears and the nape of her neck. And yes. I’ve noticed those differences too.
Lisa: Maybe it’s regrowth.
Amanda: It looks like it’s pulled back, where the yellow hair is pulled down. Hmm. The internet says it is dyed. Okay.
Lisa: Go internet!
Amanda: A photo finish for the women’s 100m! There is definitely an economic disparity between track winners/countries and that of swimming. It’s not entirely true of everyone. Not every swimmer comes from money and not every runner does not.
Lisa: That is true. Running requires free ground, and hopefully, but not necessarily, good shoes. Swimming needs a whole pool.
Amanda: Yep.
Lisa: How many swimmers come from the continent of Africa?
Amanda: Not a lot> i think there is at least one male Ethiopian swimmer.
Lisa: One thing I love about marathons is that me, a non-entity in the world of marathons, can run in the exact same race as those who will win. You can’t do that with other sports. That’s probably one reason why more countries have track and field athletes than other sports.
Amanda: That makes sense. And for a lot of those distance runners, it’s not about winning.
Lisa: For the majority of them it’s just about finishing.
Amanda: Yep. Phelps last race!
Lisa: John Stephen Akhwari: The Greatest Last Place Finish in the Olympic History Go Phelps! That marathon story still makes me tear up.
Amanda: That’s a great story. There’s a swimmer’s story like that. I’ll find it. Eric the Eel: The Olympic Swimmer Who’d Never Been in an Olympic-Size Pool
Lisa: Cool!

Political ads, designed to divide us, should not be allowed during the Olympics, designed to unite us.

Love the heptathlete bow at the end. All the heptathletes lined up with the winners in the middle, held hands, and took a bow. It was great.


Brett watching the women’s marathon: It’s amazing when you think what our bodies are capable of and then when you see what other human bodies are capable of, like running 12mph for 26 miles.

If you train for a marathon wearing running shorts and then race wearing running briefs, your tan lines are going to be a bit distracting.

I like that they use safety pins on their bibs just like us normal people do.

Amanda: I’m thinking Olympic golf might be a good time for a nap. Woke up in time for equestrian! Show jumping is cool.

Amanda: Aww. A US men’s gymnast’s wife washed all his gear in baby detergent before he left. They have a new 6-month-old and she and the baby stayed in AZ. But he has put up all the photos she has sent him in the room. All this is to remind him that his journey has been a family accomplishment.

Amanda: Either Bob Costas is really short or Usain Bolt is really tall or standing on something.
Lisa: The sprinters are tall.

Amanda: The 41-year-old gymnast is out of medal contention, but the fact that she is still doing what she does at 41 is amazing.

Amanda: There is a Visa Checkout commercial featuring the Eatons that I think is cute.
Lisa: I like the Eatons.
Amanda: Speaking of athletes we like – did you see Mo Farrah’s race?
Lisa: I saw it. That was awesome.
Amanda: He fell! Could have been trampled! And then he won!

Amanda: Walsh Jennings ran under the net to the other side to save the ball. They explain why that’s legal. It was cool. And their tops are a lot better tonight.

Track athletes have more tattoos than swimming athletes.


Why is there a llama in the Geico commercial with Marco Polo?

Women’s open swim is easier to explain to Iddo than wrestling. Although she does find it interesting there are people who don’t need boats in the ocean. And she wants to be in a buoy.

Iddo has decided Brett could run the steeple chase. He’s decided she could play table tennis.

Iddo isn’t impressed by or interested in hurdles after seeing the steeple chase because they just jump over things and don’t run through pools as well.

Amanda: Synchro swimming is simultaneously cool and weird.

I love Amanda’s preview of coming attractions. It threw Brett off Sunday night when I knew they’d explain the legality of going under the net as she was going under the net.

I told Iddo that synchronized swimming is dancing in the water. She did a little wiggle and asked if they danced like that. Then we went to watch it. After seeing it she said it was kind of funny. I fully expect her to demonstrate in the wading pool or bath tub soon. One of the commentators said “We’ll see if the judges liked it,” and Iddo replied “I didn’t like it.” During another routine the commentators said “There are such small differences,” about a pair and Iddo repeated “There are small differences Mom. But they have matching hair.”

I’ve never heard a jellyfish report during the Olympics before.

We watched the men’s 800m and I commented, “Go white boy.” The winners were Kenya, Algeria, and a white boy from the States.

Miller’s diving finish in the 400m! That’s commitment!


Lisa: I didn’t realize horses have a blind spot right in front of their faces and so when they approach a gate to jump over it that it completely disappears. I always think the jump designs are pretty.
Amanda: Way prettier than human hurdles. :)

Iddo has been asking for more flipping swimming and they just aren’t broadcasting enough of that for her. So I pulled up Tuesday morning’s men’s springboard for her and she was happy. Plus, it’s not every Olympics you get to see a belly flop. Defending Olympic champ even.

Poor Bob Costas having to do a time filling interview with giggly girls.

I am very Olympic Today

Categories: Featured, Olympics, With the Kiddos

Olympic ringsWe’ve found several ways to incorporate the Olympic Rings in our week. And now Iddo is pointing out the Olympic circles every time she sees them.

Monday afternoon we pulled out the paint and the kids all did an Olympic Rings art project. We were even able to do a 3-year-old version and a 1-year-old version. Iddo used a small cup to stamp circles on her paper with the Olympic colors. For Shimri and Shimei I put tiny blobs of paint on the paper in the positions of the rings and they got to finger paint them around. I liked the results from both versions.

Random Giggles | Olympic Rings Printing
Random Giggles | Olympic Rings Finger Painting
Random Giggles | Olympic Rings Finger Painting

I’ve been able to convince Iddo to let me try different things with her hair. When we use elastics they’re called “fancies” in our house. Friday she let me do Olympic circles fancies, as long as we pretend that purple is black because, as she pointed out, we don’t have any black fancies.

Random Giggles | Olympic Rings Hair

And for dinner Friday night we had Olympic Rings dips.

Blue – blue colored ranch dressing
Black – chocolate sauce
Red – salsa
Yellow – creamy lemon fruit dip
Green – guacamolé

Random Giggles | Olympic Rings Dips

We dipped apples, strawberries, grapes, carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, tortilla chips, and tiny sugar cookies.

Random Giggles | Olympic Rings Dips Dinner

Iddo said it best after dinner Friday, “I am very Olympic today.”

Olympic ponderings

Categories: Olympics

Olympic ringsThoughts from me, Amanda, Brett, and Iddo on the Olympics from Monday through Thursday night. Because we are awesome Olympic commentators. Enjoy! Also, clearly I should do these more often because this one gets long.

There’s a German men’s beach volleyball player with a fun white hat.

The Olympics is the place to be undefeated if you’re going to be undefeated. Walsh Jennings picked her undefeated place well.

I saw an article that would show me the 20 most beautiful female athletes. The photos gave no indication of their sports. And they’d never do an article like that for the male athletes. If they did, it would be obvious what their sports were. Amanda saw an article about Phelps balancing swimming and fatherhood, which was a nice change. It would be nice if they brought up Olympic fathers as much as they do mothers. Parenthood doesn’t do the same to their bodies that it does to the moms, but it’s still an adjustment. Also, the male gymnasts should have to do their floor routines to music too. And what’s with the beach volleyball uniforms? Men are decently covered, but there’s just way too much cleavage for sand to get into, both front and back, for sand to get in for my taste, and way too many wedgie pickings per point compared to any other sport.

We had to figure out why they were listing Cammile Adams as “N. Adams” in the overlay on her lanes on Tuesday. Turns out her first name is Natalie. And in the process we discovered that she has a twin sister named Ashley. So then I had to figure out who the multiples are at the Olympics. This is what I’ve found out so far:
– Cammile Adams (USA, swimming). Her sister Ashley isn’t in the Olympics.
– Leila, Linna, and Lily Luik (Estonia, marathon)
– Lucija and Ana Zaninović (Croatia, taekwondo)
– Monica Rokhman (USA, rhythmic gymnastics). Her sister Jenny is the team alternate
– Bia and Branca Feres (Brazil, synchronized swimming)
– Jonathan and Kevin Borlee (Belgium, track and field). Younger brother Dylan and older sister Olivia are also competing.
– Lisa and Anna Hahner (Germany, marathon)
– Sanne and Lieke Wevers (Netherlands, gymnastics)
– Sven and Lars Bender (Germany, soccer)
– Megan Rapinoe (USA, soccer). Twin sister isn’t in the Olympics.
– Roger Federer (Switzerland, tennis). Not a twin himself, but he has two sets of twins.
– Conor Dwyer (USA, swimming). Twin brother isn’t in the Olympics.
– Niall Williams (New Zealand, rugby). Twin sister isn’t in the Olympics. Her older brother is on the men’s rugby team.
– Eirini-Marina and Anna-Maria Alexandri (Austria, synchronized swimming). Triplet sister Vaso also swims, but it’s a pairs event.
– Alexandra and Yekaterina Nemich (Kazakhstan, synchronized swimming)
– Nada and Nehal Saafan (Egypt, synchronized swimming)
– Etel and Sofia Sanchez (Argentina, synchronized swimming)
– Felipe and Daniel Sancery (Brazil, rubgy)
– Katherine and Michelle Plouffe (Canada, basketball)

We didn’t have to look up that Cammile Adams is a Texas A&M Aggie though. She gave that away with a “gig ’em” at the end of an interview.

Cupping. It’s weird. And we don’t really need videos of anyone, athlete or news commentator, getting it done.

Phelps broke a 2,168 year-old Olympic record. I didn’t even know records from the ancient Olympics existed like that.

Watching handball and water polo it occurred to me that the only difference is the uniform and the playing surface. Iddo prefers water polo.

Slow-motion side-breathing in the butterfly stroke looks funny.

We discussed apparating licenses and time turners to be able to see different events. Unfortunately all the time turners were destroyed. But you’d think they’d be able to make more. It’s probably very complicated and regulated magic, but it has to be possible.

The gusto of Olympic parents is fun. Ledecky’s dad pushing her on from the stands was great.

Phelps’ shoulders are unreal. When he flaps his wings on the starting block – that’s not natural. I told Amanda I wished my shoulders were as loose as his and she suggested cupping. We don’t have any cups so I’ll just have to settle for spooning.

Lochte’s hair looks weird. We’ve decided that’s what he was going for.

Rio has a very distinctive accent. It’s fun to hear in the background. I’ve been told it’s the closest Brazilian Portuguese comes to sounding like Portugal Portuguese.

I’m learning just how many gymnastics places are in Tucson because they are all running commercials right now. Iddo likes doing “tricks” as she calls them on the couch so we’re probably going to get her in some type of gymnastics classes soon. Shimri will probably do gymnastics too because he already likes jumping off things so we probably ought to teach him how to do it without getting hurt. The way Shimei dances to any music she hears on the Olympics or commercials she’d probably prefer a dance class.

From Twitter Tuesday night: Medals won by India in the Olympics in 116 years = 26. Medals won by Michael Phelps alone = 25. We are still leading by 1. Jain Hind. #IND

Brett thinks Phelps should sing a different verse the the National Anthem every time. And when he runs out of verses he should go to the drinking song.

Men’s cycling time trials – do they really need people after the finish line indicating to them to slow down?

Wednesday morning the commentator at men’s beach volleyball, “They’re working on the husband and wife area of no communication.” That was a weird, and premeditated based on how smoothly it came, comment. We think he was going for the idea that husbands and wives often don’t need to talk to communicate. But it was an awkward way to say it.

Some of our favorite swimming tweets:
– “REPORTER: What was your strategy? SWIMMER: I tried to swim as fast as possible.” @ddiamond
– “Michael Phelps is the Katie Ledecky of men’s swimming.” @CraigMac
– “Why do we have different swimming strokes in the Olympics? It would be like if we had the 100m dash and then the 100m goofy trot.” @NoahGarfinkel
– “Olympic swimming is really impressive to me cause there’s no other sport that would literally kill me if I tried.” @mdotbrown
– “The swimming events are here to remind us how weird humans look without ears.” @romanmars
– “They need to throw one regular person in the Olympic swimming pool lanes for context.” @EricHutchinson

Me: The tweet about different strokes – I was just wondering why we need breast and butterfly when they aren’t as efficient as freestyle.
Amanda: If I’m ever swimming away from something, I’ll definitely won’t pick breaststroke.
Me: Exactly.

Water polo players never use the breast or butterfly strokes.

Amanda: Lochte references how old he is and how that impacts his swimming/recovery and then the interviewer says “Alright, old man” in closing the interview and he looks surprised and taken aback. Silly boy.
Me: Accurate description of Lochte.
Amanda: Locthe’s career really has been so overshadowed by Phelps. He really does so well, better than most, but Phelps is even better.
Me: Brett was saying how it stinks to break a record but still come in second.

We’d like more coverage of obscure events.

Me: There are very few differences between any team sport involving a ball.
Amanda: It’s like Mexican food. Same ingredients, but wrapped up in different ways.

Watched Smolen in the K1. Go immigrants! He was born in Poland and couldn’t compete in the 2012 Olympics because he wanted to compete as an American and his citizenship wasn’t finalized till February 2013. Iddo watched all the splashings (in the K1). She’s not fond of the kayak because their eyes get wet and she’s not sure how they get out of the boat, but she likes that their feet stay dry. She asked if it was their friends cheering for them.

Iddo keeps wanting to watch the “flipping swimming.” That could mean diving or just the starting blocks of the races. She was demonstrating proper starting block position on our couch Tuesday.

Brett doesn’t feel threatened that I’m incredibly impressed with the physique of the male gymnasts. He was the one who first commented on their guns. And then we figured out that it was a stylized eagle face on the chest of the US male gymnasts, which lead to a reenactment of the National bird argument from “1776”.

Appropriate use of drones – overhead shots during rowing.

Sandra Boynton’s son was in the kayak doubles event and she got a shout out. She’s one of Iddo’s favorite authors but she didn’t really care to pause reading a Magic School Bus book to watch their run.

If you’re doing women’s archery you wear a bucket hat. I’ve already got the hat. I’m almost there. Although I’m a lot better with guns than I am with bows.

From Amanda – Kudos on Judo? Really Al Michaels?

A lot of the athletes make their sports look easy. Not so with windsurfing. That looks HARD!

Slow motion face shots are awesome!

Indoor cyclists have aerodynamic socks. I have a lot of fun socks, but I’m pretty sure none of them are aerodynamic.

I think I could get into watching rugby. It’s faster than soccer and football. And I definitely like it better than basketball right now. I’m rather turned off by the NBA. The whole league seems really full of themselves. They’re too individualistic for being a team sport. I had to watch the end of the Fiji vs. Great Britain gold medal game not because the end was in doubt but because it was going to be the country’s first ever Olympic medal and that was just awesome.

Iddo tried playing field hockey with a Boomwhacker and a Portuguese alphabet block.

There was a British 50m freestyle swimmer named B. Proud. That’s the perfect Olympian name.

Before age 7 or 8 children have a fixed and absolute view of morality. Things are either right or wrong and intent does not matter. So I’ve had fun explaining to Iddo that the water polo players aren’t taking time outs because they were bad and she keeps reminding me that the fencers shouldn’t be hitting or poking people.