Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Day on the Educational Conveyor Belt

I spent last Saturday experiencing something completely new, and yet in an all-too familiar environment. I was fortunate to be asked by a former drama teacher of mine to be a judge for the District drama competition. It's an all-day event when drama students from many local schools come together to be judged and scored to see if they can qualify for the State Drama competition. It's a BIG deal for these kids! And a great opportunity for me, as well.

I was so nervous that I'd forget all the rules of the competition. So many things to remember! But that's the way of the Conveyor Belt-- it's really the only way to have order with that many people. On the other hand, I ended up feeling that the kids I saw were empty shells walking around, trying to find truth in experiencing raw emotions. It was sad...

But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

I got up early and got beautified. I packed my bag with the rule book, two Shakespeare plays I'm reading in anticipation of possible down-time, multiple highlighters (to highlight important parts of the rules), a pen, a pencil, a notebook, my purse, and a sack lunch. Luckily, I was able to catch a ride with the BHS kids and coach on a school bus. (They still don't have seatbelts on these things?)

As soon as we got there, I signed in, and then attended the judge's meeting. We were reminded that drama kids are EMOTIONAL, and to be careful and thoughtful with our scoring and comments. We were also reminded that we could not call them by name, ask where they're from, or give them any verbal feedback AT ALL. We also had to time them, and if they went over time, they were dropped a full rank.

Armed with my loaded bag and a nervous stomach, I took my assignment and headed off to my first round of judging. Luckily, it was a round of humorous pieces, and there were some fun things presented. The rounds I judged after that were all serious pieces, and that was a bit of a downer, to say the least. Child abuse, rape, AIDS, mental illness, self-mutilation, adultery, murder, catastrophe-- I couldn't help but wonder if any of the kids had ever experienced such things, and why would they want to live in the heads of people who had experienced these things. But, I could not ask them, or even take the subject matter into account in my scoring.

Not calling them by their names or knowing anything about them, did make the actual judging and commenting easier. We also were not allowed to "have an opinion" about the pieces presented, and so I had to look with an eye only for their acting techniques. It took some doing to not get effected by the performances (the self-mutilation one about did me in!), but I do feel that I judged them fairly within the rules I had to follow.

What disturbed me the most about the entire experience, was the fact that I could see, feel, and hear that there was to be no "thinking" allowed. Not by me, and not by the student. They all felt real emotion, they all did a very good job. But I couldn't help but wonder who was guiding them and talking to them about these big hairy subjects they were portraying. Did anyone ask them how their characters might have been different if they had had a relationship with God? Did anyone ask them if the rape victim was in a good place at a good time? Has anyone ever asked them how they, the student, felt about the characters' choices? I was forbidden to mentor them. It was clear their teachers had coached them, but was anyone asking questions? Was anyone thinking about how these scenes were affecting the students? Did the students ever stop to wonder how playing these characters would effect their own lives?

Oliver DeMille, my favorite educational philosopher, has stated that on the educational conveyor belt, student are not taught HOW to think, they are taught WHAT to think. Because of my judging experience this past weekend, I believe that things are changing slightly on the conveyor belt-- they are being taught NOT to think.

I will be so happy to get back to my Shakespeare class this week, where I can begin and end the class with prayer. Where I can ask them how they feel about the universe, about right and wrong, about revenge and redemption, and open their minds to think thoughts of their own, not just coldly analyze a piece of literature.

And I am so grateful that my own three children will be there, pondering, wondering and THINKING.

I so wish all children had the same opportunity.

And on that note, I want to add this video:

Monday, October 19, 2009

Finally Settling In!

I apologize for not updating recently. The basement is almost finished here, and we've finally brought most of our belongings into the house! YAY!!!

The girls room is done, and all 6 girls are snuggled cozily into it. I'm really glad we did so much de-cluttering before we moved, but we could definitely do some more!

Here's some pictures of the paint job in the girls' room:

I also carpeted the girls' room by myself, using carpet my parents have had in their basement for the last couple of years, which they got from my aunt and uncle's house when THEY got new carpet! (Clear as mud? Sorry.) But, apparently, I don't have any pictures of the finished carpet.

As for the yard outside, we waited for a calm, non-windy day, and did THIS:

No, we did NOT burn the house down, we simply burned some big dead evergreen bushes out of our yard.

Here's a better view of what was going on, so you won't think we're super-reckless:

I was standing out there with a hose, wetting down all the things we didn't want burned. Russell and the two big boys were out there with shovels, and we all walked around and around the flames to make sure the fire stayed under control. As cars passed by us, we waved to them, indicating that all was well. It became pretty humorous, as car after car slowed down to see if we were burning down the joint.

Actually, it speaks volumes about how people care about their neighbors around here, and are willing to help others in need-- pretty cool!

In closing-- wait. Did I hear you say that you needed to see some more pictures of our darling baby? Our #10 child? The High Empress of this household?

Alright. I can do that:

I'm always happy to oblige, you know... ;-D

Monday, October 05, 2009

And she's UP again!

Okay, so I apologize for my last cranky post. Being cold sometimes-- okay ALWAYS-- does that to me. Yes, I am a wimp. Hear me whine...

Oh, no! I think I've become my father. :-p He was born and raised in the South (Alabama, y'all.) and has never liked living here in Idaho. But he and my mom have been here 30+ years, so...?

Anyhoo, I woke up to a winter wonderland this morning, with snow and mist all over. But I'm actually perky today, due to the fact that we now have HEAT. YAY! Just another witness that Ma Ingalls I am NOT. *sigh* Oh, well. I'll stick with indoor plumbing, electricity, central air-- I mean radiant heat.

This morning I'm counting my blessings that I didn't have to haul myself outside to the outhouse at 6 am.

There is definitely something to be said about modern living!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Attempting to Take It All In Stride-- and Failing

I grew up in this Frozen Wasteland that some call "Idaho." I know what -27 below days feel like. I spent the bulk of my childhood wishing I lived somewhere else, and yet-- at age 35, with ten kids, and a house that has no working heater-- I am baaaack.

Why? Every day I ask myself "Why?" And every day the answer seems more distant and less accessible.

After living seven glorious years in the warm Arizona sun, I am freezing to death in mere 35 degree weather and rain.

Did I miss the memo that winter arrives here at the end of September?

Just checking.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Little House in the Big Weeds-- Part Two

Well, we're in the middle of more adventures! Friday morning, our water heater decided to quit working. *sigh* The plumber was supposed to come Friday evening, but he never showed up. So we waited all day Saturday (yesterday) and Russell heated up water on the stove and did the dishes while I was painting primer on the walls downstairs.

Then, because it looked like the plumber was not going to make it, I loaded ALL the kids in the van and took off to my parents house to use their hot water for baths and showers. My mom and dad were so patient and kind with us as we took over both their bathrooms-- as well as the kitchen sink. (Baby's bath) But we all emerged clean, loaded up the van with soggy towels and squeaky-clean kids, and drove home late last night.

About 2 minutes after we got back, the plumber drove up. He and Russell got the radiant heating's water heater hooked up. (The plumber couldn't find his correct tool to look at the regular water heater.) So, we DO have hot water today. Thank goodness!

I think I'll tackle the dishes after lunch...

Here are some recent pictures of our still-unfinished basement. (I can't wait until they're the "before" pictures!):

The drywalling is done and waiting for texture.
(This room will be our Family/School Room.)

Rooms, left to right: future bathroom, boys room, girls' room

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Tears, Chaos, and Hope

If I am being completely honest, I must say that I did not want to rent this house. Even finished, it would only be a 3 bedroom, and it would not be anywhere near done by the time we moved in. It still needed (needs!) a ton of work, including floors, mudding and texture on the walls downstairs, and the front yard (as seen above) is covered with mounds of dirt and compost. (I think?)

HOWEVER, the landlords lowered the monthly rental price by a considerable amount, and even waived the deposit money if Russell and our two big boys would come help Dustin work, so that the downstairs would be framed and dry-walled in before we moved in.

Here are my two boys working very hard and learning how walls are built:

We've now been here one month, and while we are getting closer, the basement still is not done. The mudding guy comes once in a while, but he's also a plumber and is supposed to hook up the radiant heat in the floor before it gets cold. Last I heard, there is no thermostat, so the plumber is not sure what to do.

So the kids are all still sleeping in the living room on mattresses laying all over the wood floors. Our stuff still sits in my grandma's garage, waiting for us to come get it. *grin*

Here's what the living room still looks like:

This past week, Russell and I went to the temple, and had a lovely session. We ran a few errands afterward, and then went home. When we got there, we found out that the power company had come by right after we had left and had turned off the power! So our little ones, being babysat by our 15 year old, were home alone without electricity or running water, and didn't know that they could use the land line phone to call for help.

The peace we had felt in the temple scattered, and I was pretty mad at the power company. But Russell, blessed man that he is, turned it into a fun adventure for us all. He called the power company, and calmly made an appointment for the power guy to come back and hook us up the next morning. While I went around gathering up candles, lanterns, jackets, shoes, and other things we'd need to find before darkness fell, Russell sent the big kids to the canal at the back of the property with buckets to gather water for flushing the toilet. He also helped the little kids get shoes on to ready to go to town. We were going to get some bottled water for drinking, and some hot dogs and marshmallows for roasting. Immediately, the mood changed from frustration and discouragement to excitement!

When we got home, Russell built a blazing fire in the firepit in our back yard. We broke out the ketchup, mustard, relish, and buns. He'd also purchased marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers. We lit and placed the candles and lanterns around the house, and everyone sat around the fire to roast their dinners. The stars were brilliant, and we all talked, laughed, and sang together, until we staggered inside to bed. No humming came from the appliances, fans or computers in the darkness. The silence was almost deafening, but also refreshing.

Sometimes, even though I am doing everything I should, life is not all sunshine and rainbows. There are always some big problems to overcome, some icky things we have to go through.

Some days I think, "Father, don't you love me any more? What must I do to be blessed?"

Finally, I'm starting to hear His answer, His message to me.

"Trust me. I chastise and try those that I love. I am giving you these problems so that you will seek me, and come to me. I am anxious for you to make it through this difficult time, so that you will be even more refined-- so that I can bless you with a greater rewards than you can now comprehend."

He's always been saying this to me! Why has it been so hard for me to comprehend? Has the path been too easy for me for too long?

I think that I made the mistake of equating ease and blessings with righteousness. That because I was obeying, being good, and checking off my "list" of things to do to be a better person, I was entitled to my fair share of allotted blessings.

I did not see that the Lord is blessing me with trials to make me more His. I need Him. I love Him, and I have been reminded that I depend upon Him for EVERYTHING.

My wonderful eternal companion... Beloved children... Home.... God's Love...

I thank thee, Father, for all of these and more.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Little House in the Big Weeds-- Part One

Because this "moving-to-the-country" experience has been so life-changing for me, I decided that I really should record the lessons I'm learning. So, here is Part One of our experiences adapting from a big city family, to a country-living one.

First, I got an e-mail from a dear friend in AZ, informing me that she had a brother-in-law with a house on 5 acres that needed to rent it to someone at the beginning of August. I was definitely intrigued! So I called Dustin and found out that we had been acquainted with his wife Lindy when we had lived in Arizona. Very cool! We went and looked at the house. Here are the pics from that first tour.

Russell in the Kitchen

The lovely Living Room

The Master Bath

It was not yet finished, and that really concerned me, but Dustin was working day and night to get it done before they had to move. We had a month to think about it, and decide if we really were ready to move out in the toolies, and tackle five acres. Prayer and pondering commenced!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

His words make me feel beautiful

Tonight, I read an article on CNN.com, and it's still sinking in for me.

My husband is so good to me. He tells me I'm beautiful-- something I always wanted to be, though never have been. But I know he's telling the truth, because I'm beautiful to HIM.

The following article talks about this kind of thing much better than I can, but I just have to say how grateful I am that my husband, really and truly, thinks I'm beautiful.

And he's wonderful enough to tell me so. :-)

(Read the article below-- I know you'll love it!)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Finding Joy in the Journey

To Preface:
I can't stand whiny blogs. They are no fun to read! So, I promise you that there will not be too much complaining in this entry. Unfortunately, there will be some... But I will also record the blessings that have been given, too.

It's been a rough few months for our family. It really has!

1) First, my husband became self-(un)employed in order to start his own business. And things became really tight.

The blessing
: Luckily, we had a large tax return, and used a lot of it to replenish our food storage. (In fact, we're still eating that same food storage now!)

2) We moved our family away from all our friends, our great ward, a beautiful place, and from all familiarity, to the place we grew up. We sold many many things, in order to pay our last month of rent and to provide moving expenses, including Russell's car, some big furniture pieces, and some musical instruments. (Don't worry-- we didn't sell off any kids...)

The blessing:
We ended up with exactly enough for the truck rental, and gas for our move. And, we were able to stay with my aunt one night, and with other dear friends one night-- at no cost to us! (Thanks, Ann and Celeste!)

3) We moved in with my parents. I'm 34 years old, and I moved myself, my husband, and our TEN kids in with my parents. It was difficult for them and us. We stayed there about 5 weeks.

The blessings: My parents were kind enough to let us invade their home and lives for quite some time. My kids got to get reacquainted with their grandparents, and with my grandmother, who is also staying with my parents. We also have been able to see more of our extended families now that we're back in the state.

4) Our daughter, Morganne, developed a HUGE infection in her top jaw that caused her upper lip to swell and hurt massively. She was supposed to have had a root canal in the Spring, but it got put off and then procrastinated when things started getting really complicated and hairy with our family.

The blessings: My uncle here in Idaho is a dentist, and he was able to get her a prescription, and then work on her, and get the root canal done. And he's allowing us to make payments, since we don't have insurance. Then my dad helped us buy the prescription, so that the infection could go away.

5) We moved into a darling log home out in the country. It's waaaaay out in the country, and it's not finished yet. The kids are all sleeping on the floor in the front room until the downstairs gets finished. For some reason, the guy who's finishing the walls downstairs is having a hard time making it over here, so the kids are still on the floor, and all our stuff remains in my grandmother's garage.

The blessings: Our landlords are friends we knew in Arizona, and they have been so understanding and kind to work with. They have lowered the rent for us so that we can actually afford to be in our own place, and they have done so much work on the house themselves, in order to get it ready for us to rent. AND, it turns out this house is in the same ward as my cousin and her family. What a wonderful coincidence!

6) All our stuff is in my grandmother's detached garage, and has been there since the beginning of July.

The blessing: My sweet grandma offered her garage for us to use, and has been so kind and patient with us coming and going to take some things out.

7) Our van, Ruby-Mae, died a sad, tragic death as we were pulling out of my grandmother's driveway with a load of stuff. Most unfortunate, is the fact that Ruby's malady is incurable. Her engine is toast, and we can't afford to replace it. *sigh* I loved my van! :-( Now we don't know what we'll do for a car.

The blessings: My sweet, sweet Grandmother has been lending us her car for the past few days. She has been such a blessing for our family during this difficult time! Another blessing is that we no longer will have a car payment.

How's that for an update on our lives? There have been many difficult things for our family to go through, but if it brings us closer to God, and makes us better people, I am willing to go through these things.

At the beginning of this journey, before things were really bad, I received a priesthood blessing from my dear husband. In that blessing, I was told that this was my handcart journey. I had no clue about all that was to come, but I am so grateful for the Lord's support and love through all of it. This quote from a member of one of the pioneer handcart companies helps me keep things in perspective:

"We suffered beyond anything you can imagine and many died of exposure and starvation, but … we became acquainted with [God] in our extrem[i]ties. “I have pulled my handcart when I was so weak and weary from illness and lack of food that I could hardly put one foot ahead of the other. The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay, and I am thankful that I was privileged to come in the Martin Handcart Company”.

Here's another talk I'm going to read today: "Refined in Our Trials" by Elder James E. Faust

I am going to find more of the joys that still exist in the midst of my difficulties. Counting my blessings today has really helped. I am grateful for blogging, and for the joy that writing brings me, too.

Have a beautiful day! :-)

Monday, August 03, 2009

Me and Ma Ingalls

We got us a house!!!

After staying with my parents for a full month now, we get to move into a house of our own. *joy and rejoicing* (Well, we're renting it, so technically, it's not ours. But, whatever.)

It's a little cabin-- oops! I mean, log home-- in the sticks, just over the county line. Ma Ingalls would LOVE it!

I like calling it a cabin, even if, technically, it's not, because it's not a second vacation home somewhere in the wilderness. As I stated earlier, WHATEVA!

I am going to christen my new little abode "Thistledown Lodge."

Quaint, yes?

We almost dubbed it "Little House in the Big Weeds," but decided that would be too negative of a name. And we want the big weeds to go away-- not stick around. Law of attraction and all that.

"Thistledown Lodge" makes the weeds just sound so much more romantic, don't you think?

Well, I do.

I don't have a picture of the outside yet, so here is what our new little house looks like in my mind's eye:

I think Ma Ingalls would love it almost as much as I do.

(I'm just so grateful it doesn't have dirt floors. Ma Ingalls may be able to handle that, but not this princess!)

Maybe me and Ma don't have so much in common after all.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Random Rachel Random-ness

I think the word "random" is my new favorite for this quarter. I have started over-using it in my conversations, and as I went to type in the title of this post, I found that there was a long list of posts beginning with the word "random." Food for thought.

In other news, we are moving-- again.


Yes, I know the thought is mind-boggling.

Why are we moving again? Some days I pretend that I forgot why and whine a whole lot. Other days, I spend the entire 24 hours allotted me with my teeth clenched. (Maybe that's why I had a headache yesterday. Hmmm...) And today, I've thrown all worrying to the wind, and have peace in my soul. And a song in my heart, of course.

We are moving because God said we should. That's it.

Oh, I could ramble on about how we will be closer to family. How it's cheaper to live up there. How much I have missed being part of the drama that exists in family politics. (I was just kidding on that last one.) But none of those could actually get me to move out of this place I love.

But God can. And boy, He is.

What's surprising to me, is how okay I'm feeling about it all now. Don't get me wrong-- initially I went through all the phases of grief. Denial. Sadness. Anger. Temper tantrums. Extra-helpings of dessert. You know what I mean.

Then, I got a blessing or two. And I went to the temple. And though the circumstances that truly merit my freaking out about this whole "issue" were still there, I could smile and say, "It's okay. It will all work out."

Some days, I'm such a stubborn pain in the neck, I don't know why the Lord Above puts up with me. What's amazing is that He does-- AND that He still loves me; kicking and screaming and all.

God loves you, too.

That may also be a "random" thing for me to say, but it's the honest-to-goodness truth.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

A Family Vignette

Just some random family photos and thoughts for the day...

Morgie did not want her picture taken. I made her hold still and show off how cute she looked in her outfit that day. She thinks her mother is silly. And she's RIGHT.

This child, my "benevolent dictator," is not prone to drama at all. Nope.

Our Funny Man, Lliam. What more is there to say?

Bon-bon was born to dance. I'm thinking she might even be ready for lessons soon.
(I have pretty strong opinions about parents providing too many activities for really young kids. But she's 10 now, so I'm looking for a ballet class to fit her needs. Excitement and rejoicing at our house!)

Gavin wants to be a Jedi.

Serious Miss Dee-dee wants to follow in Bonny's dancing footsteps. We shall see...

Ronan being silly!
(His brother took this picture. I'm sure he would have been too shy to make this face for me.)

Our "Terrible Two": the most adorable trouble-makers you will ever meet!

Miss Ava was soooo tired.
("Mom, cut it out with the pictures. How about putting me to bed, already?")

Mommie-hood is just the bestest.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Avalon's Blessing Day

(All photos in this post taken by the wonderfully talented and amazing Jill Rich.)

On May 2nd, 2009, our little Miss Avalon finally received a baby blessing and had her name placed on the church records.

It was a quiet affair, since we don't live close to family,
with only Russell, the bishopric, and Brother Brady Eaves in the circle.
(Well, quiet except for the part where Avalon decided she wanted to scream in protest... Her blessing was rather short as a result.)

This blessing dress is very very special to me. My Southern gentleman grandfather ("Big Daddy") bought this cotton, hand embroidered dress for me when I was born, and I wore it at my own baby blessing. Then, my two younger sisters, Gina and Abby, also wore it. When I had my first baby girl, I didn't want to use any other dress for my precious Morganne,
so she was blessed in it, too.

Since then, all 6 of my daughters-- including Miss Avalon Noelle-- have worn it for their baby blessings, and my wonderful mother has embroidered everyone's names in the hem of it, along with the years they were blessed. It is a treasured heirloom.

I wish Big Daddy could have seen all these little angels dressed up in it.
Thank you, Big Daddy!

Avalon Noelle ~ May 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Play Is the Thing!

My AWESOME Cast!!!

Our production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" went swimmingly well!!! (*YAY*) I'm soooo proud of all "my kids." Their hard work and concentration really paid off! (And mine, too!) I directed the show, and designed the costumes, and it was WAAAAAAYYY more fun than folks ought to have when they're that busy. But I truly LOVED it. :-)

Here are a few pictures:

Me, with my mouth open, as usual. ("This is ACTING, people!") We had some great rehearsals!

I had the COOLEST Oberon! Aren't his "bodyguards cute-- I mean, terrifying? Oberon's costume was supposed to represent "Fire"...

...and our Titania's represented "Water." (Below is a better shot of her costume.)
Isn't our "Bottom" adorable? He was great! (Played by Preston K.)

(L. to R.) Lysander, played by Matthias McD.; Oberon, played by Ben McD.; Titania, played by Jean B.; and Dave McD., my Stage Manager

Lysander again, who ends up with Hermia (Played by my daughter, Morganne.)
I love how these two costumes match! And yes, they're just acting like they're in love.

As are these two: Demetrius, played by my Brennan, and Helena, played by the wonderful Kristina J.. He's 13, and she's 17. They did such a good job!

The four married women: (clockwise, from the top) Titania, Helena, Hippolyta, and Hermia

I'll post more later, after I get more pictures off my camera. *sniff* I'm really missing it! (Sigh)

Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Big 5-0

Little Miss Grayse Dawn
This here post contains 50 Things you never knew you never wanted to know about me...

1- What color is your toothbrush?

Red and white-- because RED is my favorite color.

2- Name one person who made you smile today:
Grayse Dawn

3- What were you doing at 8 am this morning:
Wandering Wal-Mart to find a birthday gift for the little girl in answer #2.

4- What were you doing 45 minutes ago?
Shooshing kids so I could better hear General Conference. *shhhhhhhh!!!*

5- What is your favorite candy bar?
Twix, when I can ingest chocolate without upsetting my nursing baby. If I can't have choc., I go for a Payday.

6- Have you ever done karaoke?
YES! Anytime, anywhere, you name it! (Okay, with the exception of bars. I don't do the "nightclub scene"!)

7- What is the last thing you said aloud?
"Morganne, would you like to bake Grayse's birthday cake now?" (Teenage girls are VERY handy to have around.)

8- What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey *sob* (See #5)

9- What was the last thing you had to drink?
Water-- gotta keep up the ole' milk supply! *moo*

10- Do you like your wallet?
Meh. It's attached to my purse. You know, I feel a deep-seated NEED to buy a cute wallet to just shove into the big-honking diaper bag I have to tote around. And ditch the purse.

11- What was the last thing you ate?
Homemade waffles with peach syrup. (Ten year old daughters who make yummy waffles are also very handy to have around.)

12- Have you bought any new clothing items this week?
Haven't you heard? I'm a mother, and a mother only gets new clothes when the ones she's worn for 10 years get holes in them. Or else when she's pregnant and needs new maternity clothes. It hasn't been ten years for me yet, and I'm not pregnant. Ergo...

13- The last sporting event you watched?
ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!! (I am the anti-sport.)

14- What is your favorite flavor of popcorn?
Naughty-naughty movie popcorn. (yum)

15- Who is the last person you sent a text message too?
Uhhh... that would have been two years ago... when I didn't know there was an extra charge for texting. Since then, I have been text free. Yes, I am CHEAP.

16- Ever go camping?
Once every couple of years. (I am choosing NOT to elaborate. Boring question.)

17- Do you take vitamins daily?
Uhhh... I'm 'posed to (being a nursing mother, and all)... and sometimes I even do it! :)

18- Do you go to church every Sunday?

19- Do you have a tan?
I like Sachiko's answer. ("A Tan What?") *hee*

20-Do you prefer Chinese food over pizza?
I prefer whichever one I don't have to cook. *grin*

21- Do you drink your soda with a straw?
If I drank soda, I would use a straw, yes.

22- What did your last text message say?
How would I know? It was TWO YEARS AGO!!!

23- What are you doing tomorrow?
Watching conference, going visiting teaching, and RESTING. It's a day of rest, you know. Relatively speaking.

25- Look to your left, what do you see
Hmmm... Where to start? A baby in a bouncy seat, my diaper bag, the toddler's half-drunk bottle, the broom (what the--?), a wooden long-sword, two bookcases, a pile of Lincoln logs-- should I go on?

26- What color is your watch?
Silver. I only wear silver. I'm uptight like that.

27- What do you think of when you hear Australia?
Crocodile Dundee and Steve Irwin, mate.

28- Question #28 has LEFT THE BUILDING!!!

29- Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit the drive thru?
Go in. I have nothing interesting to add here.

30- What is your favorite number?
SEVEN! Woot! (Go Seven!)

31- Who's the last person you talked to on the phone?
My daughter's harp teacher

32- Any plans today?
Birthday shopping, conference, sewing a costume, conference, birthday cake and presents.

33- How many states have you lived in?
Five. Is that all? Hmmm.

34- Biggest annoyance right now?
I'm thirsty. (Have I mentioned I'm a nursing mom? Just checking.)

35- Last song listened to?
"The Bear Necessities" ala Disney. ("Yeah, man!")

36- Can you say the alphabet backwards?
Is there a time limit?

37- Do you have a maid service clean your house?
Oh, yeah! They're AWESOME! Their names are Morganne, Brennan, Lliam, Bonny, Gavin, Dierdre, Ronan, and MacKenna. (I don't include the other two kids, cuz they're under-age.)

38- Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time?
Hobbit-shoes. (Bare feet.) If I MUST wear shoes, I love ballet flats.

39- Are you jealous of anyone?
Yes. (Am I required to elaborate?)

40- Is anyone jealous of you?
EVERYBODY! They all wish they had ten kids, too, I know it. ;-)

41- Do you love anyone?

42- Do any of your friends have children?
Yes. (Okay, questions answerable by a simple "yes" or "no" are not interesting. I'm just sayin'...)

43- What do you usually do during the day?
E-mail lots of people, either for my Shakespeare class, for costume stuff, or to my homeschool group. I also order children to do jobs, load and reboot the laundry, read aloud to kids, answer kid questions, nurse the baby, keep the toddler out of trouble, or holler at the big kids to keep the toddler out of trouble, sometimes cook, sometimes shower, fold laundry (on occasion), mess around on Facebook, call my mom, design costumes, read good books, study scriptures, take my daughter to seminary, go grocery shopping, kiss my husband, change a multitude of diapers, kiss owies, write on my blog, stalk other ladies' blogs... Do I have to continue? I'm now thinking it's my bedtime.

44- Do you hate anyone that you know right now?
I don't hate people, only evil.

45- Do you use the word 'hello' daily?

46- What color is your car?
I have a BIG, 12-seater, burgundy van named "Ruby-Mae."

47- Do you like cats?
In what context?

48- Are you thinking about someone right now?
Yes. My parents. How was their trip to Utah?

49- Have you ever been to Six Flags?
No, because I am a deprived human being.

50- How did you get your worst scar?
I was seven years old, and was learning to ride a bike. Stitches upon stitches created a lovely big scar on my knee.