Monday, September 29, 2008

Mormon Scientist

I do not often branch out of non-fiction but I was pleased with this read. The book, Mormon Scientist: The Life and Faith of Henry Eyring, was a suggestion from a friend. I enjoy biographies but I was not sure about the science part. I would not say that it is a quick read but it was not laborious either. I found Henry’s whole story fascinating. He was a family man, a man of science and a man of faith.

To me he exemplified how we can live in this world today. I loved the idea that viewing the world is like a puzzle and just because things don’t match up exactly now does not mean that they will not. Science and religion can work together. One of my favorite quotes from the book was F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise.” I love that: see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise. I think my favorite section of the book was the chapter Master of Contradictions.

I liked how he knew who he was and was never embarrassed about it. It never bothered him if people did not like him because his family was a polygamist family or that he was a Mormon or the way that he lived his science. I hope I can develop and understanding and confidence in myself that is that strong. To be able to stand up and say this is me – live with it.

Another one of my favorite quotes was what Henry Eyring said about one of his students. His son (I think) asked him why he did not give it to him (the student for not performing well) and Henry Eyring said: “The world knocks them down. I try to build them up.”

I admire his confidence, his belief and his determination. I liked when he said, “If an idea is wrong, it will fail; if it is right, nothing can stop it.”

I really enjoyed this book and I am glad that I purchased it because I would like to read it again.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Knife Clasp

So I went to the chiropractor. Come to find out that I have a deformity called Knife Clasp. I was born with it ... apparently. Anyway the lowest vertebrae is missing a part and the one above grew an extra long piece so when I bend backward the extra long piece sticks through my spin and hits my spinal cord causing pain. Fun huh. No more back bends for me. That is why it is called Knife Clasp because it hurts like a knife. So I guess when I say my back hurts I am not kidding. He said that it will only get worse as I get older. But that he can help me get back to almost 100% and then have a good place to start from. I'm young. I'm spry. So I have several appointment this week and then two weeks of two and I will learn some stretches and stuff and then once a month for a while until he gets it fixed as much as it can be fixed. Then we got to have the dreaded weight conversation. That is one of my favorite conversation. Like I don't know that I am overweight. Well now I had added motivation to get healthy. Knife in the back. Good motivation.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My Big Helper

Sam has been such a great helper since I hurt my back. He LOVES to do the dishes and he was very excited to get them all done. He also helped me make my bed (and he made his bed all by himself without me asking!) I need to do laundry tonight and I am sure he will happy to help.

This is a cute outfit that Sam's paternal grandmother sent him. I love it. He looks really good in orange I decided. He must have my coloring. But then again I look pretty darn good in any color (how's that for humble pie!) We are just heading off to school and work. I wanted to take pictures to send to Omi.
Sam loves Lego's and I mean he LOVES them. He gets the Lego magazine and he wants to have his picture taken with one of his creations and have it sent to the magazine. So this is one of them. This is called an "Intelligent Weapon" that is what he called it. I think he just learned the world intelligent because he uses it all the time. That and boring. Everything is boring. Which is funny because I read a lot of British literature and they like that word too. The Lego magazine is really fun but sometimes it has stuff in it that drives me crazy. Like they showed the new death star Lego thing and guess who wants it? Sam does. Guess how much it costs? Come one ... guess. $400. No I did not make a typo. It is FOUR HUNDRED BUCKS! Who spends that kind of money on Legos? I guess someone but certainly not us. So Sam's loves are Lego anything, Shiny Knight anything and Star Wars anything.

As a side note I am going to the chiropractor today at 3:00 p.m. and I hope I am feeling much better tomorrow. Here's to hope.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Back Pain

So this is me ... no, not literally, figuratively speaking. I have a red glowing, painfully aggravating, throbbing ache pulsing in my lower back. It all started the Sunday before last when I tripped on some stairs. You know the experience you are up again before you even hit the floor looking around at all your family and friends swearing that you are just fine and trying to hide the mortification written all over your face. Yes that was the experience. But I honestly did not think I was that hurt. My shins hurts more than anything but this past week has been, well, painful. And the frustrating part (on top of the pain part) is that I have a lot to do. I have my newly beautified entertainment center to put back together. I have my bedroom that I tore apart to put back together. I have my garage to clean out and get ready for the cold season so that I can park my car inside because I will park in the garage before it gets cold. Back pain or no. And one more complaint do you know what hurts the worst? Sitting. Do you know what I do all day long? Yes you guessed correctly. I try to take walks. I run errands but honestly there is no getting around sitting at this blasted computer. Well I am going to walk around the block. It makes me feel better. Emotionally mostly but that is better than nothin'

Monday, September 15, 2008

Dinosaur Park

Sam and his classmates went on a field trip to the Dinosaur Park in Ogden, Utah on Friday. They had a great time. Sam and his friend went to the dinosaur graveyard. It in a deep dark cave. Ooooh very cool

Here is Sam with his Kindergarten class with a mighty dinosaur.

Best friends. Isn't life grand!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Path - Straight and Narrow

I was fortunate to be a part of a discussion a couple of weeks ago about perfection. I often feel about as far from perfection as I am from touching the sun and it gets me down. Why (I ask myself) is it so easy to see my imperfections and so incredibly difficult to see my strengths. During the discussion an associate of mine quoted Bruce R. McConkie and I thought I would share this quote with you.

"We don't need to get a complex or get a feeling that you have to be perfect to be saved. You don't. There's only been one perfect person, and that's the Lord Jesus, but in order to be saved in the Kingdom of God and in order to pass the test of mortality, what you have to do is get on the straight and narrow path – thus charting a course leading to eternal life – and then, being on that path, pass out of this life in full fellowship. I'm not saying that you don't have to keep the commandments. I'm saying you don't have to be perfect to be saved. If you did, no one would be saved. The way it operates is this: You get on the path that's named the "straight and narrow." You do it by entering the gate of repentance and baptism. The straight and narrow path leads from the gate of repentance and baptism, a very great distance, to a reward that's called eternal life. If you're on that path and pressing forward, and you die, you'll never get off the path. There is no such thing as falling off the straight and narrow path in the life to come, and the reason is that this life is the time that is given to men to prepare for eternity. Now is the time and the day of your salvation, so if you're working zealously in this life – though you haven't fully overcome the world and you haven't done all you hoped you might do – you're still going to be saved." Bruce R. McConkie The Probationary test of Mortality, Jan 10, 1982

So lets get on the path. I have the capacity to do that much at least. I might even be able to start walking down it a bit. Hope is a lovely thing. I will not beret myself because I am not a perfect mother, a perfect friend, a perfect employee, or a perfect sister. I will just remember that I am doing all I can and sometimes perhaps a little more.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


So I started a online bookclub and the first two books went very well but the third I just got so busy but I also realized that I don't have enough time to keep up with two different blogs. So I am going to nix the bookclub blog but still have a bookclub so if you still want to play with me we are reading the Mormon Scientist. I am just going to put everyone in one place. So here is the two reviews that have already come to pass...

Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks

Devil May Care is the newest installment in the iconic James Bond series. The book was released on Ian Fleming’s birthday, May 28. Now, as I have no point of reference, (I have not read any of Fleming’s books) I don’t know if this book was true to past books. So all I have to base my opinion on is this book and of course the movies. I am pretty sure I have seen every James Bond movie there is and I admit I am a fan. But we’ll talk about that later, first the book.

I liked it. Not loved, but liked. I felt the pacing was rather slow sometimes for an action packed novel. I liked the character of James Bond and felt that it remained true to the martini guzzling, womanizing man that we have all come to love, although with a bit of a softer perhaps slightly more fragile side, especially in the beginning. Really it was the characterization of Bond that made me like this book as opposed to really not liking it.

As for the Bond babes, again I liked them, not loved. And here is a spoiler if you have not read it … I didn’t like that Poppy and Scarlet were really one person. I figured out that Scarlet was the other double O and honestly I didn’t quite believe it. Ok, so she was acting scared and stuff but she just didn’t seem tough enough. She is a double O secret agent for heaven sake and at the end she is practically weeping for Bond to love her even though she had to fake him out. The end really got it for me. So they just have this little skirmish and they bring down the nuclear toting plane and then a little jaunt through Russia and then it was over … really. When Gorner shows up did you not see that coming? He had to die, that was expected but oh I don’t know it just felt rushed. And then Scarlet’s behavior at the end which I have already mentioned just not my idea of a woman double O. Ok maybe my problem here is that I grew up on the movies not the books. Movies rely heavily on action and books not so much. Anyway. In the end, I loved Bond, the story itself was ok.

And as a mildly unrelated topic who is your favorite Bond? Mine used to be Sean Connery but I am afraid the newest Bond, Daniel Craig has taken over top spot.


Cathie: I’m a flake. I did not read the book this month. But I do have a new grand-daughter. Gracie, born 7/20 weighed in at 4lbs 15 oz and she is doing great. I have the book for August and will start reading it today. I love reading!!!

Susie: Ok, here's the thing...I just don't care for James Bond. I've only seen one movie and I haven't read any of the books but everyone knows who he is and what his character is all about. As for the book, I didn't really like it. The plot was alright, the characters were predictable and boring and I only finished the book so I could say that I didn't like it! I probably won't read another James Bond book unless it's for another book group.

DeAnne: I did read this book again it was a first for me. I think I have seen most of the OO7 movies except for the Daniel Craig ones. This was a fun to read but like Liz I liked the book not loved it. I felt that the Bond character was so weak. But he always gets what he wants in the end. I also wasn't so keen on the Poppy/Scarlet character being one person either. And like you Liz I didn't feel she made a very good secret agent. I also think I will read another OO7 book just to compare. My favorite movie Bond is Roger Moore. Don't even know why just he is my favorite.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”

This is one of the most famous opening lines of all time.

I read a review that said, “Jane and Bingley fall in love so quickly as to easily get them out of the way of Elizabeth and Darcy.” I have to admit although I love the quick and sweet love between Jane and Bingley it is the tumultuous and difficult romance of Elizabeth and Darcy that entices me to read Pride and Prejudice over and over again. “It is frustrating enough when one person refuses to fall in love, but when both refuse, we cannot rest until they kiss.”

Not only is it a great love story, it is a great story of relationships. The relationship between Elizabeth and Jane is sweet and tender. The relationship between Elizabeth and her parents, especially her father and the relationship between all the sisters, don’t you want to kill Lydia sometimes. The book is also full of humor. I don’t know if sometimes it is meant to be funny but honestly, I laugh out loud at some of the situations.

One of my favorite lines is, “I might more easily forgive his vanity had he not wounded mine.” The wonder that is Austin is her ability to deliver the truth. As I was reading there were so many great lines, I should have taken a highlighter to my book so I would not forget them. The setting of the book is so perfect. The time period too, the rules of decorum and how those rules are broken. I feel so much pain for Jane and Elizabeth and Lydia runs off and ruins all of their reputations. They understand the consequences even if no one else seems to understand. But in the end it really is Lydia running off that opens Elizabeth’s eyes to how kind and generous Mr. Darcy really is and she is able to overcome her pride and prejudice. Sometimes I wonder what happens to Lydia. Jane and Elizabeth take in Kitty and we are told she greatly improves and Mary is happy to be at home with her books but Lydia is stuck I wonder how her story ends.

I was surprised by how many had not read this book so I am interested to see what you all thought… who was your favorite character? What was your favorite scene? Did you like it?


Andrea: That is a really great blog for the book. And I so agree with so much of it. Amazing book about relationships - the struggles, the heartache, the tenderness, all of it. Very poignant. I found myself reading and often laughing out loud one moment and almost crying the next. Truly a book about seeing beyond mere superficiality and reaching/looking for beauty from within.

DeAnne: Liz, so glad you decided to have this book club. I have not read Pride and Prejudice before. I really enjoyed reading this book. I don't usually read love stories but this seems different. I agree with Andrea that it is an amazing book about relationships. It also made me laugh and cry. Jane is probably my favorite character. She is more reserved and gentle and pleasant to be around. Elizabeth is sensible, intellent and quick-witted (like I wish I could be) but sharp at times. I would rather be in Jane's company. She is more comfortable. I liked how Darcy learns to admire and love Elizabeth for her strong character. I liked reading about the social classes and how they reacted to each other. I just found this to be a very interesting book and will read it again. I'm not sure what my favorite part is but toward the end Elizabeth says, "Her heart did whisper, that he had done it for her.", really touched me. Just wonderful writing.

Susan: I haven't been able to finish this book. I was really hesitant to start it but fell in love with it right away. I love how well Jane Austin was able to paint a picture for me. It reminds me so much of Little Women that I find that I've created the characters in my mind to look the same in both books. I look forward to being able to finish it at some point.

Cathie: I love this novel, I enjoyed the glimpse that you get into that era, the way they think and feel. I remember thinking as I read the book that it gives you a good look at how easy it is to misunderstand someone and take what they say or do wrong. Darcy and Elizabeth seem to do that constantly. It’s a good thing they actually got together with all the wrong perceptions they were coming up with concerning each other. I thought more than once that the mother was just a tad over the edge but when you think about a girls life in that time if she didn’t marry, you can understand how concerned she might be about her daughters. I’m glad that it was a happy ending and everyone left with the right person. I would like to know what happened to Lydia and Wickham. There was definitely another book there.

Elizabeth: I agree, Susan, that Austin is able to paint a picture that makes you feel liek you are there and that is definately one of the reasons that I love it so much. Cathie, I too think that sometimes the mom comes across as WAY too much but then in reflection she was honestly worried. Can you imagine leaving daughters with nothing and no hope, no job, no way to support. I think marriage pressure is bad today think about how vital it was to get married back then. Dede I agree also that the writing style itself is so beautiful, sometimes I wish we still spoke with such grace. I am glad that you all liked it. Please feel free to keep commenting.

Susie: I just love this book! I love the characters and how they develop in the story. Lizzy is definitely my favorite. She has a quick wit and strong will that captivates me. One of my favorite lines from the book that she says is, "The more I know of the world the less satisfied I am with it." I feel the same way. I hate watching the news and hearing all the yucky stuff going on out there. I love Mr. Bennet's sense of humor. He knows that his wife is an idiot and annoying and loves teasing her any chance that he can get. I guess it goes to show that you shouldn't marry someone based on looks alone or you might end up with a Mrs. Bennet on your hands. Overall, this book is great and I would recommend it to anyone.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

First Day of Kindergarten

Sam's first day of school was very fun. He loves his teacher (who happens to be the same teacher he had for preschool - she got promoted at just the right time). He loves his friends. He got to bring to school his "ME" poster. He enjoyed picking all the pictures and stickers out to create it.

Unfortunately just three days into school Sam got really sick. Wednesday night he came into my room almost every twenty minutes telling me that he didn't want to sleep in his bed. So I would give him a hug and put him back in his bed, turn on his music and try to go back to sleep finally at about 4:30 in the morning I let him get in my bed because I was so unbelievable tired. I would say about 30 seconds later he threw-up ... IN MY BED. So I asked him (after I clean up Sam and my bed) why didn't you tell me that you don't feel good. And do you know what he did? He said, "Mommy, I don't feel good." Ha what a crack up. Even when sick he can be funny. So he was puky and feverish and finally on Friday evening I took him to instacare because he said he had a sore throat and yup he had strep. Poor little guy! Within twenty four hours of getting the antibiotic in him he was feeling great. Now the challenge is for me to remember to give a happy, healthy boy medicine. Don't worry I made a colorful chart and placed it on the front door. I can't leave the house without seeing it (saved me this morning!).

So about three weeks ago (maybe even longer) I took my entertainment center out of my living room into the garage and painted it. Well not right then, first I sanded it and then primed it and then painting it and then painted it again and then painted it again and then lacquered it. With several hours of drying time between. And now it is done. I hope it looks ok because I am not the most detail oriented person (I am more a big picture person). Leave it to me to forget painting something visual and important but I love the color. It is green, a nice rich green. I can't paint my walls so I thought I would paint the furniture instead. I am hoping to get some help to move it back into the house today or tomorrow.

Also my good friend Julie came over on Saturday and Monday and helped me clean out my room. It was a disaster. It was so helpful to have someone objective say, "Really ... honestly ... you want that?" It has been great. Fortunately even after the drudgery of helping me clean out my room she still wants to be my friend and is even going to help me with the rest of my house. She deserves a medal. Or at least a nice dinner. Or at the very least a milkshake.

Work has come back full force and a rarely have even a moment of down time. But I like to be busy. School, sick kid, work, house, happy kid, painting, it has been a full couple of weeks.