31 December 2007

2007 Highlights (Year, not quantity)

I like to look back at each year and list the highlights. Every year I'm surprised by how many great things have happened in the last year. I thought I'd share a few with you. Let me know if I blew it and missed something really grand.

  • Savanna, a niece born in January
  • Diana, a niece born in May
  • Colette, a niece born in June
  • Steven and Rhonda's wedding
  • Kathleen getting into the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
  • All of the GBLs being in town for Christmas
  • GRADUATION!!!! Eric and I graduated from BYU this year. We walked together in April, but I didn't officially finish until August.
  • Eric got accepted to the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, and we are going there SIX WEEKS FROM TODAY!!!!
  • I got a grown-up job, and I get to keep it when we live across the planet.
  • Eric joined the Crisis Team and then became the manager of the Crisis Team.
  • Eric got a couple of raises.
  • We went to San Diego to watch Michelle run (and win!).
  • I went to Texas for my brother's wedding.
  • We went to Jackson Hole in June to canoe the Snake River with Gordon, Kathleen and Andrew and to see Colette.
  • We went to Jackson Hole in August for Colette's blessing.
  • We went to Seattle to visit Matt and Michelle for Thanksgiving.
  • We went to Jackson Hole for Bridger's baptism.
  • We bought our plane tickets for New Zealand.
When we were sitting over dinner a few weeks ago we thought of many, many other highlights for this year. This is just a recap of some of the best reasons to be grateful for 2007!

2007 Books (year, not quantity)

I've read a lot of books this year. I hope to read more next year. I've listed the books I read in 2007 below. I would bold my favorites, but almost all of them would be bold. They are in no particular order - just the order I remembered them in.

  1. Suite Francais by Irene Nemirovsky
  2. Life and Death in Shanghai by Nien Cheng
  3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
  4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling*
  5. Roots by Alex Haley
  6. The Ladies' Paradise by Emile Zola
  7. Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose
  8. Ella Enchanted by Gale Carson Levine
  9. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
  10. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
  11. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  12. Two Lives of Charlemagne
  13. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
  14. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy*
  15. Silas Marner by George Elliot*
  16. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley*
  17. Chicagoland: City and Suburbs in the Railroad Age by Ann Durkin Keating
  18. Only a Few Bones: A True Account of the Rolling Fork Tragedy and its Aftermath by John Philip Colletta
  19. Get a Financial Life by Beth Kobliner
  20. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte*
  21. Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
  22. Candide by Voltaire
  23. The French Revolution and Human Rights: A Brief Documentary History by Lynn Hunt
  24. The French Worker: Autobiographies from the Early Industrial Era by Mark Traugott
  25. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  26. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway*
  27. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  28. New Zealand - Culture Smart by Sue Butler

*I listened to an audio-version of this book.

Out of the Mouths of Babes...

Christmas is over, and all the little kids are gone. It was so much fun to play with the nieces and nephews while they were here. It's weird to think how big and different they will be when I get to see them again.

Cute things the little ones have done/said:
  • "Grandpa, I don't like girls. Well, I like some girls. I don't like Sherry." -James (4) (Shalissa tried to explain that he was talking about liking girls not just liking them. I'm not really sure why he wouldn't like me because I had just finished reading him a book about whales. Well, hmph!)
  • After Gordon told a funny joke and everyone laughed, Caleb (3) chimed in with a forced, gut-busting laugh. Then we all laughed at him. Then it got quiet and Caleb whispered, "Grandpa, that wasn't funny."
  • When Caleb sat at a stool at the island and said, "Hey you're cutting veggie-tales!"
  • Michael (2) completely freaking out during picture time. Especially in the grandparents/grandkids picture. Which then caused Caleb to commence freaking out. And then the babies (11 mos and 7 mos) to freak out. It was hilarious. A pure meltdown. In fact, I think the picture below pretty much captures the whole experience, although it was actually taken before the melting down really got melt-y.
  • When Michael remembered my name as "Not Andrew" on Saturday after training him while throwing the basketball on Friday. Fortunately by Sunday he could remember my name as "Say-ee." A week later he had again forgotten my name, but he at least recognized me and lit up when he saw me.
  • Little Michael saying "I can't get you!" then running away from me as I chased him saying, "Yes, I can!" and he would respond, "No, I can't!" Then I would get him and he would say, "Don't want get you! Go away!" Michael, are you 2? Clearly.
  • Katie asking me if Eric knew that God didn't want him to work on Sunday.
  • Michael not wanting to open any more presents after his first present on Christmas morning.
  • Katie saying in the prayer over Christmas breakfast "And thank you for all of the presents that we couldn't even imagine!"
  • Caleb saying "Look Dad! It's a train. But it's not a real train, it doesn't chugga."
Also, the babies? So adorable. They don't talk yet, so they didn't say anything funny. But they are both really cute.

I tried to keep track of the funny things they said and did, but I'm sure I missed a few. It would be a lot easier if they weren't so darn funny!

Note: I posted this a few days ago, but I have since made some updates, and I thought it was worth reposting it with a new date.

29 December 2007

It's Totally Worth It

While they were in town, Shalissa and Bri and I had some great conversations. I really like those two. We've married brothers who grew up as best friends, and it's fun to talk about our husbands and how alike they are.

Shalissa mentioned that when she goes somewhere with all her kids (4) she gets strange looks and sometimes even rude-ish comments. Sometimes the comments aren't intended to be rude, I don't think. But sometimes they are. Usually people say something along the lines of, "Wow! You've got your hands full!" Fortunately, Shalissa has come up with four perfect words for the disapproving looks, or even the concerned looks: It's totally worth it.

I thought about that last night when I realized that I'm pretty sure both Nate and Shalissa kids AND Bry and Bri's kids got me sick. Because, wow. I'm pretty sick when you put it all together.

However, it's totally worth it. I wonder if that phrase is reserved only for dutiful moms and not fun aunts. In which case my saying it doesn't have quite the same impact. But playing with the kids this break was certainly my highlight of their coming out here. And I won't see them again for a loooooong time, so getting sick really isn't that big of a deal.

24 December 2007

Christmas Music Preferences

I mentioned before that I needed a post about Christmas songs. I don't know that this will be the best post. After all, it is CHRISTMAS EVE!!!!

I love they hymns. Hands down, they are the best, primarily because they are about the real meaning of Christmas, the birth of Our Savior, Jesus Christ. I particularly enjoy The First Noel, Silent Night, and the music from The Messiah (which was actually written for Easter, not Christmas!).

I enjoy many secular songs as well, especially the more sentimental ones like I'll be Home for Christmas, White Christmas and Let it Snow.

I also really like some of the fun ones like Sleigh Ride and Baby, It's Cold Outside.

I am not crazy about the silly songs and most of the Santa songs. I rather dislike Santa Clause is Coming to Town, All I want for Christmas (is my Two Front Teeth), I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas, and Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer. I haven't always hated these songs. I enjoyed them as a child, in fact. But somewhere along the way the started to bother me. Perhaps because of all the pop renditions of them? I'm really not sure. Anyway, there you have it.

19 December 2007

My Take on Santa

It must be the holiday season because most of the blogs that I read rarely have new posts. I probably fall under that category too.

I've been thinking a lot about Santa recently and different parents' theories of Santa and the ages of discovery about Santa and that sort of thing. And here's my take:

We'll do the Santa thing. We'll take the kids to visit Santa. We'll have them write letters if they so desire. But Santa only brings mediocre gifts. The good gifts come from Mom and Dad. And when the kids are done believing in Santa, we'll be okay with that. I don't want my kids pretending to believe in Santa until they are 16 because they are worried they won't get presents. And I don't want Santa to get the credit for the cool things I get the kids.

And I don't believe the idea that if kids believe in Santa they may think Jesus isn't real. With that argument, you may as well get rid of ALL fictional characters, because it's pretty much the same thing. I've heard a story of a kid who told his mom, "If we pray, then God will send Superman to help us." All fictional characters can confuse kids because kids have a hard time understanding the difference between real and pretend. I understand the argument that Santa distracts from the true reason of the holiday, but I think EVERYTHING distracts from the true reason for the holiday. Nixing Santa isn't in my plans.

Hopefully Eric and I will find a balance and enjoy watching our little ones wonder about Santa but still not get carried away with the gimme-gimme aspects of Christmas.

17 December 2007

Review: Blokus

Blokus is our most recently acquired game, which I received for my birthday. It is a fun game for either 1, 2 or 4 players. Each player chooses a color and has 22 pieces. One color goes first, and he places any of his pieces on the board with at least one of the squares in his designated corner. Play continues in a circle. On each move, your pieces must touch any of your other pieces at a corner. You must touch on a corner, and nowhere else. Of course, you can touch all the other colors any way you like. The pic is really the best example. The idea is to weasel your way into tight spaces and cut off your opponents so they don't get to lay as many pieces.

As you can see from the pic, each pieces is composed of up to 5 squares. The end of the game happens when nobody can lay any more pieces. When that occurs, each player counts how many total squares are left in his remaining pieces. The person with the lowest score wins.

It's a pretty quick game. Takes about 20 minutes. Requires a lot of planning and adapting- strategery, if you will. If you play with two players, each player is two colors. If you play alone, the goal is to fit all the pieces in and still play by the corners-only rule. You can also do this challenge in a team. Eric and I did, and Michelle helped. It was fun!

You can also play Blokus online.

By the way, this is the last of the board game posts. These are all the games we have and play regularly. Actually, now that I think of it, we also have Disney Trivial Pursuit, but that's pretty self-explanatory.

14 December 2007

Christmas Movies

I have seen very few Christmas movies. Watching them every year was just something my family didn't do. I think my parents' attitude as, "Oh, we've seen that sooooo many times. We don't need to see it again." And thus, the first time I saw It's A Wonderful Life, I was about 14-16, I can't remember exactly. Really. I'm not exaggerating.

Miracle on 34th Street? Never saw it. Actually, I think I saw a bit of the new version when it came to video and thought it was dreadfully boring.

The Bishop's Wife? Never saw it.

The first time I saw Mr. Krueger's Christmas, I was a freshman in college. Yes, really.

White Christmas? I haven't seen that one either.

So, what HAVE I seen? I've seen Elf, but it just came out a couple of years ago, so I don't know how much that counts for anything. I've seen A Christmas Story more times than I can count, and I consider it my favorite Christmas movie. I've seen How the Grinch Stole Christmas, but not since I was a kid, and I'd love to see it again. When I was little I saw A Charlie Brown Christmas, but I never really liked it because I just have never been crazy about Peanuts. I just don't get it. And all those claymation movies? I never even liked them as a kid, even though I felt like I should like them.

As an older kid, I also saw Home Alone, Jingle All the Way, and The Santa Clause. And I don't ever need to see any of them ever again. Especially not The Santa Clause because I despise Tim Allen. He's obnoxious.

And what about the great classic, A Christmas Carol? Yes, I have seen it. I saw it for the first time last Christmas. We watched the one with Patrick Stewart, and I quite liked it. This year we watched A Muppet Christmas Carol. I expected better, but it was mostly enjoyable.

Perhaps I'll get around to watching more of the classics. Probably I won't.

12 December 2007

The Spouse

I found this on somebody else's blog. And it looked like fun. It's about Spouse.

1. What is his name: Eric. The Eric. Man. Spouse. I call him all these things. Yes, I am a little odd.

2. How long have you been married: 2 1/2 years.

3. How long did you date: Our first date was 17 September, and we got married the following April. That's the simplest explanation.

4. How old is he: 26.

5. Who eats more: Definitely him. He's a boy. I'm a girl.

6. Who said I love you first? He did. I returned the sentiment about two weeks later.

7. Who is taller: Eric is.

8. Who sings better: Eric. Yummy low voice. Which brings me to something I've been meaning to blog about- why are all the male leads in musicals tenors? Basses are soooooo much sexier.

9. Who is smarter: He is much smarter than me, a much better writer, very well-read and well-rounded. But I am better at playing the School Game than he is.

10. Whose temper is worse: Definitely mine.

11. Who does the laundry: Mostly me. But he did it more recently than I did.

12. Who does the dishes: We both hate doing the dishes. It is listed as "least favorite chore" for both of us. We do them about evenly, I guess. He doesn't like the way I do them, but right now we live where there is a dishwasher, so it's rather a moot point.

13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed: If you're standing at the foot of the bed, I am on the right.

14. Who pays the bills: Me. He doesn't even have his name on our checks! (That's just because he wasn't with me at the bank when I ordered new ones). And, I don't think he even knows how to log on to the bank's website, even though I've told him he needs to know in case I die and he has lots of bills to pay!

15. Who mows the lawn: We don't have one, but if we did, it would be Eric's job to mow it. Because I've mowed lawns about two times, and it was pretty much the worst job ever. And if he doesn't want to do it, we will pay somebody. And that's that.

16. Who cooks dinner: Mostly me. Eric is really helpful, though, and he's actually gotten to be a rather good instruction-follower since we got married. I've convinced him it's worth it to take time to cook because nice dinners are worth the short amount of time it takes to put them together. I have strong feelings about this.

17. Who drives when you are together: He does. But I have a better driving record.

18. Who is more stubborn: I have a near monopoly on stubbornness.

19. Who is the first to admit they are wrong: I'm never wrong. So he has to be the first to admit it he is wrong.

20. Whose parents do you see the most: Well, seeing as how we live with his parents, definitely we see them more.

21. Who has more friends: I think I do because my high school and college friends are different, but his are the same. Also, I can claim more of his friends as my own than he can of mine.

22. Who has more siblings: We both have four siblings.

23. Who wears the pants: Well, I always tell him, "Look! I'm in charge around here!" but I think things are actually about even.

11 December 2007

We're a Go!


I'm not sure how to properly convey my excitement about this. So, there you have it.

Best of all, I had looked at this website, where the cheapest fare was $845 to Aukland. But we don't want to go to Aukland, because then we'd still have to get all the way from the top of the north island to the bottom of the south island. And hello! China Air is scary! Well, I read some scary reviews about it, anyway. Then I saw an ad for this site, and I clicked on it. (Yes! I clicked on an ad! I do it quite frequently, thank you!) And do you know how much the tickets were to go all the way to Christchurch (which is only a 5-hour drive from us down the wrong side of the road)? They were $683 each! And I bought them. Right away.

We leave 11 February 2008. If you want to spend time with us before we move across the planet for 12 months, you better schedule an appointment. We're already getting booked up.

Review: Fish Eat Fish

Doesn't Fish Eat Fish sound like such a fun game? Well, it is. And it's easy and fast. We can usually play a game in about 20 minutes, depending on how thoughtfully people attack other fish.

The premise of the game is to attack your opponents' fish and eat them. You start with five fish, and then you start attacking. You each lay a card face down with a number on it. Then you flip your card over. The bigger card wins. When you win, you stack fish on top of the fish you just ate, thus making you stronger. That means, if your stack has 4 fish in it, and you attack a fish of only 1, you have an advantage of 3. If you lay a 1 you are worth 5. He must lay a 4 to tie you, and if you tie, you both die. Cards consists mostly of numbers (0, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 5), but there each person has two octopus cards and a shark card. The idea of the game is to know when you need to win and when you can sacrifice a fish or two. You can only play each card once, so it is also important to pay attention to which players are still holding on to their most valuable cards.

Way fun game. Easy. The box says ages 8 and up, but I think you could play with younger kids. They just wouldn't have much strategy. The game accommodates 2-5 players. And it's probably one of the cheapest games I've blogged about.

10 December 2007

A Fond Farewell

Last night was our last time to go to Cousins' Dinner, which is hosted by Eric's Aunt Mimi and Uncle Paul. Cousins' Dinner is a monthly occasion for the college-aged cousins, plus the three that Paul and Mimi have (two of which are now in college). I mentioned Cousins' Dinner once before. It is something I always look forward to, not only because the food is consistently amazing, but also because the conversation is always entertaining, and sometimes insightful. Even though we are no longer students, Paul and Mimi still let us come because Eric was a T.A. this year, and because the number of college-aged kids is dwindling.

Usually Mimi does all the cooking, but sometimes she asks some of the married ones to bring a salad or dessert. We were in charge of dessert, and I made the Chocolate Banana Pound Cake that Janssen mentioned a while back. SO good. I found Cinnamon Chips at Albertson's. They are normally $2.99/bag, but they were on sale for $1.99 the day I bought them. I bought 3 bags because even before I made the cake, I knew I would love it. And right I was. I eagerly look forward to making this cake for the next work party! Everyone will think I'm amazing. Well, more amazing than they already think I am.

Also, the cake is super easy to make. Just make sure you let it cool completely before dumping it out of the pan. Otherwise, the top of the cake will stay in the pan, and the cake will merely taste much better than it looks. Not that I know this from experience.

Christmas Preferences

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I love and adore wrapping gifts in boxes and tying ribbons around them. I really appreciate well-wrapped gifts. I've been kind of lazy about it this year, though.

2. Real tree or artificial?
I grew up with an artificial tree because two of my siblings are allergic to real ones. One of my brothers is extremely allergic and gets congested very quickly and very badly by being around them. My first time to have a real tree, I was 20, living with 5 girls in an apartment. One of them bought a tree, and we all decorated it together. The next year I was married, so Eric and I bought a live tree. The year after that, we just used the artificial one that my brother gave us. This year we are living with Eric's parents as we prep to move to New Zealand. They have an artificial one.

3. When do you put up the tree? Usually the day after Thanksgiving, now that I'm married and I'm in charge. But I'm not obsessive about it. This year we got it up about December 1.

4. When do you take the tree down? Some time after New Year's. I don't like to leave stuff up too long.

5. Do you like eggnog? Yes, particularly if it's not too strong. But I prefer hot chocolate and wassail.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Sand Art. Yes, I was a nerd. Also, a stuffed bear that I named Manhattan.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, we have 3. Because my mom gets us one for each year that we have been married (2). Plus we bought ourselves one once.

8. Hardest person to buy for? My sister and her husband. I usually just get them gift cards.

9. Easiest person to buy for? My dad. He always gives a list in October. And then my siblings all get him everything on it. I am getting him the think nobody has gotten him yet. Easy.

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? A Grandma-like Christmas sweater? I don't really remember.

11. Have you been to the Nutcracker? Yes, three times. Once when I was 9, and my mom and I went with my friend, Dorothy, and her mom. Then, in high school I went to watch Dorothy perform in her high school's performance. And once a couple of years ago at BYU.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? I haven't seen very many, which is cause for another post that I've been meaning to write. But, DEFINITELY A Christmas Story. I love that one.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Never early enough. Although! This year we bought some gifts back in April! We are amazing!

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I don't think so, actually.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Chili. My mom's chili. And tamales. And taquitos. And chips and salsa. Of course, all these are actually Christmas Eve foods.

16. White lights or colored on the tree? I grew up with colored, but now I prefer white. One day when I am rich, I hope to have two trees. One will be the department-store-tree with white lights and fancy-pants ornaments. The other will be kid-tree with colored lights, fun ornaments, and the ornaments the kids make in school.

17. Favorite Christmas song? I really like The First Noel. It's really better to ask which songs I'm not crazy about. That deserves another post, as well.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Depends. Right now, we don't have kids, so it is easy to travel to visit others. I don't know if we'd ever travel somewhere to spend time away from family.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Yes.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? I like angels. Eric likes stars. Good thing I'm the wife and I'm in charge.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas Eve. Then Santa comes, and you get to open more presents in the morning!

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? The feeling of being rushed to see everyone and get everything done.

08 December 2007

Hand-made Goodness

I once sort of learned to crochet. Meaning, I learned the idea of crocheting, but I never became a crocheter. I really wanted to, but at the time, I just didn't have time. And now I have time, but I still don't know how to do it. I doubt I could learn from a book. I'm a hands-on kind of girl.

Last night we had our work Christmas party at the boss' house mansion. It has half a basketball court inside. Eight kids. All eight have their own rooms. You get the idea. The point, actually, has nothing to do with the house. It is the white elephant gift exchange. Eric and I neglected to bring gifts, primarily due to forgetting and time constraints, so we opted out of the exchange and were merely observers. Somebody didn't understand the whole idea of it all and brought an iPod. He got a bar of soap inside a stocky with somebody else's name on it. Poor guy.

One girl brought a home-made stocking. Inside was an old church manual (The Teachings of Wilford Woodruff), a home-made hat, and two home-made snowflake ornaments. For whatever reason, nobody picked up this gift, and it was left on the counter at the end of the game. (Which means that somebody who brought a gift left without one). Anyway, the girl seemed rather hurt that nobody picked her gift, and she just gave it to me. That was very nice of her. And now I have a pale-yellow hand-made hat.

It's really great. Really. I'm uber-excited about it. Baby duck yellow, as Eric would say. And I put it on before we left the party, and handful of people commented on what a cute hat it is. :)

07 December 2007

Outdoor Christmas Decorations

Let's discuss Christmas lights and outdoor Christmas decorations. Maybe I am a bit of an outdoor-Christmas-decorations snob. That doesn't bother me. I have rather strong feelings about decorating your house for Christmas.

First of all, if you want to go gung-ho crazy for Christmas, do it inside your house so you don't subject your neighbors to your tacky decorations or ridiculous lights.

With that said, I don't think all decorations are tacky, and most lights are not either. I'll just give you a list of things I detest:
  • Lights strung poorly. If you are going to hang them on your house, make them hang straight. Your roof is straight. Pull your lights tightly and secure them well so that they will be straight too.
  • Don't leave your lights up. ESPECIALLY if they are icicle lights. So tacky.
  • Lights on the house are pretty much all you need. I prefer them to be all in one color, but I don't necessarily think multi-colored lights are tacky.
  • If you insist on putting lights on your trees, please do it Temple Square style, as seen here-
  • Notice how the lights are strung around each, individual branch? It's a lot of work, yes. But if you are going to do it, you may as well do it right.
  • And finally. Lawn ornaments. Most are just not worth having. ESPECIALLY the inflatable kind. They look cheap. Do they cost cheap? No. This is something I don't understand.
I guess the best option for me is to live somewhere that regulates such things. Unfortunately, I don't right now, so I have to see things like an inflatable Santa riding a motorcycle with two reindeer on the back. Classy. (This isn't the exact image, but it's close).

Review: Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is one of the most complicated board games we play. I feel like I can't even begin to describe it to you, but I will attempt nonetheless. The overall goal is to earn victory points. To do that, you have to load goods onto ships. To produce goods, you have to build settlements, provide employees to work the settlements, and build factories with employees to work at the factories. Plus you sell your goods to get money, which you use to buy factories and buildings that give you certain privileges.

That is a really simplistic description of this rather complicated, but extremely fun game. This might be my favorite board game these days. There is a lot of strategy involved, and some luck. Unlike other games, you really can't have the same strategy every time. You have to vary it according to the other players' strategies.

Puerto Rico is pretty intense and competitive, but it doesn't cause nearly the contention that Tigris and Euphrates does, perhaps because it is not a game of warring states.

The game is meant for 2-5 players. It takes 1-2 hours.

06 December 2007

Review: Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Life of Pi by Yann Martel is wonderfully amazing. It is really and truly gratifying. One of the best books I have read all year.

Life of Pi is about a boy who is stranded on a boat with a Bengal tiger for 227 days. It is about religion, human nature, animal nature, the need for companionship, and the will to live.

The writing in this novel is clever and witty. I can't tell you how many times I found myself laughing, not necessarily at funny situations or events, but just good writing that was meant to make me chuckle. In that same vein, the book is exceptionally moving.

You must go get this book right now from the library and read it. RIGHT NOW!

I read this book aloud to Eric (I think he read about 10 pages, if that), and he really liked it too. In the middle it gets a little slow, but that's because Pi is in a lifeboat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean doing pretty much the same thing day in and day out. I actually think the writing was intended to reflect the nature of Pi's rather dull life, and thus the less exciting writing.

But in the end, the book is amazing. It doesn't fizzle, as I worried it might. Amazing book.

04 December 2007

Let it, Indeed!

Alli's recent post made me realize that I ought to talk about my memories of snowing.

In Dallas it snows sometimes. It snows and then it ices. And everything shuts down. It did this a few times when I was in elementary school, and we got snow days. My brother and I spent those days wandering around the neighborhood, sliding on ice and having snowball fights. That is, we had snowball fights until we realized that snowballs were actually sleetballs and they rather hurt. Mostly, though, we just enjoyed the fact that we didn't have to go to school.

When I was a senior in high school, we got two and a half snow days because of snowy/icy weather. I spent both of the full days working at the grocery store where I was employed. Because I lived so close to the store, the bosses knew they could call me in to cover shifts. One day I worked 13 hours. The next day I worked 11 hours. Those were long days. But they resulted in overtime, and a pretty substantial paycheck. It wasn't so bad. Plus, I got to sleep in and go to school late on the third day, which was also quite nice because, Hello! Early Morning Seminary was canceled. I enjoyed seminary, but it is hard to be somewhere at 6 every morning.

Then I moved to Utah.That year we got a lot of snow in the valley. In fact, we had a lot of snow by Halloween. I remember the during the first snowfall I ran around playing in it with two of my friends from California, Prisicilla and Chad. We probably looked like idiots. We didn't care. That year I also made my first snowman. On my birthday, it snowed, and I called my mom and told her, "Mom! Guess what! God gave me snow for my birthday!" It was a fun birthday. (The snow, combined with the fact that I had the flu that week, and on my birthday I was allowed out again without the risk of pneumonia).

That year, I visited my brother and his family in Jackson Hole. I went sledding for the first time, AND WOW! I love sledding! It is so much fun! I should probably be a little more mature and prefer skiing over sledding, but sledding is easier and less painful. Also cheaper. So I choose sledding.

The next year I visited my brother for Christmas, and I went skiing for the first time. I really enjoyed it, only fell a few times and ended the day pretty unscathed. Although, my brother did trick me into taking a pretty big jump saying that "Yeah, you can do that. You've been skiing great all day." Um....no. I biffed it pretty badly. Skis flying. Body rolling. Snow in face.

I went skiing again with my brother and his family about a year later, on a more difficult mountain. My nephews (8 and 6 at the time) whizzed by me as I fell, got up, fell, got up, fell, etc. Nonetheless, I rather enjoy skiing and one day hope to have it as my family hobby like my brother does. His boys go down black diamonds and have been doing so for a couple of seasons now.

Of course, the snow has been slow in coming this year. We got a little bit at the beginning of November, but it promptly melted. And then nothing. Until this weekend. I hope we get some more by Christmas so Eric and I can go sledding and take a walk up the canyon enjoying the snow-covered, leafless trees.