Fun With Words

Food Clipart Images
Thanks to all of you who participated in this little word survey (and thanks to those of you who just checked back and enjoyed all the great comments!)

I was curious about a couple of words from my youth, but was excited to see some of the regional (and family) uses of of other words.

Pop vs. Soda? We didn't drink a lot of pop in our family, and we usually called it what it was--7-up, rootbeer, etc. But the fact that I just wrote pop without thinking about it in that last sentence is a pretty good indicator that if we did use pop or soda, it was probably pop.

Sucker vs. Lollipop? We used the word sucker, which is a really ugly word. I think I much prefer lollipop, which sounds cute and happy. Just because we suck on a piece of candy on a stick, doesn't mean we should call it a sucker. We don't call a piece of gum a chewer, or a Kleenex a wiper. Sometimes literal isn't best.

Flip flops vs. Thongs? I can't even say this one without smiling. All of my growing up, they were called thongs. Then the Brazilian panty craze spread to the U.S. and we had to find an alternative. Flip flops is cute (even though it's pretty literal) so now we go with flip flops. I have no desire to wear thongs of any kind.

Cupboard vs. Countertop? This is fairly obvious, although I've spent most of my life calling the countertop the cupboard. "Where is my homework?" "Look in on the cupboard." It wasn't until my kids started correcting me that I finally corrected myself.

Ice Cream Sprinkles vs. Ice Cream Jimmies? I think I prefer sprinkles. Jimmies is cute but sounds a little too much like jammies (pajamas). If, however, you decided to change that to Jimmers, you'd have me sold on the idea and I'd celebrate the change tonight with ice cream and Jimmers (or ice cream with Jimmer, if he's available.)

Icebox vs. Refrigerator vs. Fridge? I think I always abbreviate it to fridge. I've never called it an icebox, and the only time I can say with certainty that I've said refrigerator is when we're shopping for a refrigerator.

Water fountain vs. Bubbler? I've always called it a water fountain or a drinking fountain, but man, is bubbler ever a great word for it.

And now for the two in question:

Couch vs. Davenport vs. Sofa vs. Divan vs. Chesterfield vs. Credenza vs. Daveno (I hope I didn't leave anyone out). Our family called it a daveno. I have no idea why, but I was happy to see a couple of other people who had that written down. All right, they may have all been relatives. We now call it a couch, but I still think daveno sounds kinda classy. Doesn't it?

And last, Glove Box vs. Glove Compartment vs. Jockey Box vs. Pigsty. We called it a jockey box. Thanks to one of you for giving us the reason for the term jockey box. It made sense and now I have an explanation for anyone who might hear me say jockey box and laugh because when they hear it, they think of a jock strap. (I really did have a date once mock me for saying jockey box and when I couldn't understand the hilarity of the phrase, he told me he doesn't keep his jock strap in the jockey box. He was very mature.)

So there you have it. That was fun and educational! Thanks for playing along with me.

Curiosity About Words and an Assignment For YOU!

It looks like How-to Tuesday is postponed until next Tuesday. That gives any of you who wanted to join us another week to come up with something splendid.

I wasn't too disappointed that it was postponed. I had a good idea but then I got sick--sore throat, a few aches, and I think a little fever. So while I skip How-to Tuesday and instead contemplate on how to get feeling better, here is your assignment.

Please don't read this and then leave. This is something I've long been curious about and you can help me.

As I was growing up, we called this long thing you sit on by a certain name. It was a name that raised a few eyebrows and even merited a couple of snickers from friends who came to visit. I'd like to know what you called the long piece of furniture that seats three or more.

Next, I'd like to know what you call this thing in front of the passenger seat of the car--the place where you stow the owner's manual, insurance cards, pens, assorted snacks, and sometimes a roll of toilet paper.

If you could tell me what part of the country (or world) you're from and what you called these two things, I'd appreciate it.

I know this isn't extremely scientific and probably won't prompt me to contribute to their wikipedia pages, but it will feed my curiosity about the words used and for this word nerd, it will be be kinda fun. It might even make me feel better, which in turn gives you something you can feel really good about.

Any words you're curious about?

(Couch Image from the Corona collection at, Glovebox Image from

Prom and the World We Live In

Today my oldest daughter went to Prom. After a fun day date, she came home, cleaned up and then we went to have her hair and makeup done. Veronica is a smart, shy, no-nonsense girl, so seeing her all dressed up and prettied up was fun. She looked absolutely beautiful.

While we were waiting for her date to arrive, her dad noticed an article on the front page of MSN called "Questionable Prom Trends." This is just what parents want to see as their little girl heads out for the evening.

The trends listed ranged from irritating things like asking a girl to prom via text messaging and excessive makeup to questionable things like expensive jewelry and prom sites to a few things that are disturbing and infuriating.

The first disturbing trend is one that has been picking up speed for some time--the showing of skin. The current trend is skin, skin and more skin. Girls are dressing sluttier and sluttier. One fashion that's popular in some areas is a beautiful, embellished skirt with...

a bikini top. Really? But why not? Look at fashion magazines and shows like "Dancing With the Stars?" They're nearly pornographic. If girls are dressing like prostitutes and porn stars, is it any wonder that the next two questionable prom trends are happening?

Parents are paying for a hotel room for their kids after the dance. This is so their kids won't drive drunk (on what planet are high school kids allowed to legally drink?) And what do those parents think is going to go on in a hotel room after the dance? How very responsible of those parents. They must really love their kids.

And lastly, girls are wearing colored bracelets. These aren't fashion statements. These are to let their dates know what level of sexual activity a girl is willing to participate in. What the crap? Are we serious? These are high school kids and they're figuring out codes to tell each other what base they're willing to go to? (Did that line just date me? Do people even talk about bases anymore?)

This last week, I was thrilled to read a ranting post by Clover Lane about what we're doing to our daughters. We're forcing them to grow up too soon and society is telling them that to be of real worth, they need to be thin and trampy. She was talking mostly about our younger girls, the ones they've come up with a new marketing term for--tween. I have a girl that age and agreed with everything she said.

But she doesn't have a dating age daughter going to her first prom, and the trends we read made me sick to my stomach. Unfortunately, you can't lock them up in their rooms forever and it's pretty clear that we have much to worry about and much to teach our kids.

We have to put our foot down. We have to parent. We have to set rules and those rules shouldn't be "drink and have sex only in the parent-paid-for hotel room." The rules should be "no drinking and be home by your curfew with your virtue intact. PERIOD!" The solution to these disgusting trends is for parents to be parents!

Veronica looked beautiful. She was pretty, modest, and sweet. Her date was a gentleman who told her she looked pretty but wouldn't have dreamed of checking out the color of her bracelet so he'd know how the evening would end. He'll take good care of her, she'll act like a lady and he'll treat her with respect because she deserves it and he's a gentleman.

Some Odds and Ends

(Not quite long enough for their own postings, but here they are anyway!)

Coach Dave Rose called this year's BYU basketball team a special team. I feel that way too. From the support of Brandon Davies to the lack of ego among all the supporting stars to Jimmer's humility in the face of an insane amount of attention, this team is worth cheering for. And am I ever cheering! I feel like this is different than in the past. My bracket has them winning the whole thing. I hope I'm right, but even if I'm not, they've made this year a blast.

Why, oh why, wouldn't a pattern for a necktie have instructions for lengthening the tie, if needed. I didn't even know ties came in different sizes and my daughter's prom date came by to pick up the tie tonight and it was SO short. (He's tall.) The only way for the tie to be the right length is to have the underneath part s00o short. Shouldn't there be a "lengthen here" line for a tie just like there is for almost anything else you make? He was a good sport.

I traveled to Idaho and did three book signings last week. My cousins came to one of them and as they were checking out, the cashier saw the name Higginson (my maiden name). "I dated a Higginson once," she said. "Oh really? What was his name?" "Lynn." "That's her dad," my cousins said, pointing at me. It was a woman my dad dated more than fifty years ago. What are the chances?

I'm a little obsessed right now with grilled turkey and raspberry jam sandwiches on seedy, whole-grain bread. Mmm.

I've discovered as I've watched a few things live lately that I love DVR. You might think that's because of the time saved by not having to watch commercials and you'd be right. I think the main reason however, is because more and more commercials are raunchy and tasteless and inappropriate. There's some awful soap commercial that's supposed to make me want to get clean, but it just makes me feel dirty.

I love babies. I sat in church last Sunday and looked at the beautiful baby in front of us and ached to hold her. Not wanting to be the creepy baby stalker, I just admired her. Thank goodness I still have sisters and sisters-in-law having babies. (And by the way, I looked that up and sisters-in-law is correct, even though it sounds pretentious and irritating!)

There are very few sounds in the world better than the voice of your missionary son from half-way around the world telling you that he's safe and he loves you.

(Image from

How to Completely Ruin Family Home Evening...

...and then make it one of the best ever.

I had planned a great posting about a delicious way to use leftover turkey or chicken. But that will have to wait until next week, because today I learned first-hand, how to ruin family home evening and then turn it completely around. Just follow my step-by-step instructions.

1. Plan a Webelos activity to BYU where your boys will be dazzled by a chemist who does incredible things including pyrotechnics.

2. Take the Webelos to the BYU creamery for a scoop of the ice cream of their choice.

3. Leave your wallet sitting in the booth when you leave.

4. Once you arrive home at 6 p.m., load up the family to go out for hamburgers and then a trip to the BYU Museum of Art to see the Carl Bloch exhibit that will help build their faith and their love of incredible art.

5. On the way to get hamburgers, stop to get gas and discover that your wallet is gone, along with the Costco cash cards, your checks, credit card, library card (and even your two full punch-cards to Flour Girl and Dough Boy, which are good for a delicious sandwich and a couple of mouth-watering treats). Have a family prayer in the car.

6. Drive to the creamery, check with the manager, search the booth and leave disheartened. Drive home with the gas light on since you're now almost out of gas, a hungry family since you have no money for the promised hamburgers and a healthy dose of worry since you're missing your wallet and all the important things inside it.

7. Call banks and credit card company while your daughter makes some noodles. Have another family prayer. Let your husband go put in $6.00 of gas (all the cash he has in his wallet) so you won't run out of gas on the way to the bank in the morning, where you'll finish closing out your accounts.

8. Have your husband come home with a flash of inspiration that maybe someone stole the cash, but dumped the wallet in the dumpster (like they did with his wallet several years ago). Try not to be too proud as one of your children suggests and offers another prayer.

9. Watch your kids gather flashlights as they excitedly talk about dumpster diving. Drive to the Creamery again (it's only a half an hour each way, so three times in six hours isn't a big deal).

10. Split up, with two of you going inside to check with the manager and search the booth again and three of you checking the dumpsters. Have one more prayer in the car just before you leave, disappointed, but holding out a little bit of hope.

11. Drive a block from the Creamery, then answer your phone that is ringing with an unknown number. Try not to cry as the manager, who you're now on a first-name basis with, tells you that someone just turned in your wallet.

12. Drive back to the Creamery, control yourself so that you don't give the manager an unwanted hug, hurry back to the car and search your wallet to find that EVERYTHING is still there. Not one thing is missing.

13. Say a prayer of thanks and then listen happily as your children talk about how prayers are answered and how we're very blessed.

(Image from


Some of the things I'm going to create this week:
A prom dress for my daughter.
A matching tie for her date.
A bag a day to drop at the DI or the garbage.
An empty bill shelf.
A revised Chapter 1 for For What It's Worth.
A new How-to-Tuesday post.
Some egg-salad sandwiches (I've been craving them).
What are you going to create this week?

Some Thoughts on Beauty and Virtue

I recently watched part of a BBC documentary in which philosopher Roger Scruton discussed why beauty matters. He wasn't speaking of the kind of beauty most women wish they had. He was speaking of the beauty represented in great art. There was a time when artists sought to lift the mind and spirit above the hard and cruel realities of life. But there's been a movement in the last several decades that minimizes the need for beauty in our lives and lifts the ugly and base things of the world to the status of importance that beautiful art once held. There are some ugly and disturbing images in the documentary that illustrate the point that beauty is being replaced with ugliness, crudeness, baseness.

The 13th Article of Faith ends with the line, "if there is anything virtuous, lovely, of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."

But are we seeking after these things? Are we reaching for the spiritual, the beautiful, the praiseworthy? Or are we becoming so accustomed to the shock value, the cheap thrill, the titillating humor, that we admire it, laugh along with it, or just shake our heads and accept it? Do we fill our lives and homes and minds with beautiful things that elevate our spirit? Or are we so used to the degrading and the crass that we put up with it, or worse, even celebrate it?

Yesterday, the local newspaper carried a story about a man who had had enough of foul, degrading and ugly language. He was driving an empty school bus after he'd dropped off his load of children. At a stoplight he saw the bumper sticker on the pick up in front of him. It contained foul language including the R-rated word. He didn't think it was funny. This wasn't a movie he could walk out of or a television show he could turn off. This was the back of the vehicle directly in front of him. He noticed a corner of the sticker was raised and immediately got off the bus, pulled off the offensive sticker and got back on the bus, throwing it away.

He lost his job. Whether or not you agree with his actions, one thing is clear. We're assaulted with ugliness and there are those who think we're just supposed to put up with it. In fact, while this man lost his job, the F-word touting pick-up driver's rights of free expression were upheld.

The bus driver quoted philospher and statesman Edmund Burke: "There is, however, a limit at which forbearance ceases to become a virtue." When we see crass and degrading things, do we forbear? Do we silently put up with it or do we give a little uncomfortable laugh? Do we find humor in things that are degrading or irreverent? If we do, we're contributing to the problem.

Our spirit seeks for beauty. It delights in virtue. It longs to be fed with things that nourish and uplift it. Beautiful art, music, language and conversation lift us up. We have to actively seek after the beautiful and virtuous things.

How To Make Emptying the Dishwasher Fun

Okay, maybe this won't make emptying the dishwasher fun, but it will make it less annoying.

Almost two years ago, I asked my seventeen-year-old son to empty the dishwasher. He emptied all the dishes and put them away, then disappeared, leaving the baskets of silverware untouched. I called him back. "You forgot the silverware."

"I didn't forget. I hate unloading the silverware."

"It still has to be done."

"Why don't we separate it when we're loading it? It would make unloading it so much easier."

Ah hah! It actually would make unloading easier. But wouldn't that make loading it a lot harder?

Actually, no. I load all dishes first. Then when I'm down to silverware, I load all spoons, all forks, all knives into their own basket. Then I load all of the odds and ends. They actually fit better and then when its time to unload, it's a snap.

I know this might sound a little obsessive/compulsive, but a little organizing up front makes it so much easier in the end.

It's All About Me, Me, Me!

I recently watched an interview on The Today Show with Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, an author. The condensed version of her story is that after almost twenty years of marriage and two little boys, she won a fellowship that allowed her to travel to Japan to research a book. She was in Japan for six months, by herself except for a couple of short visits from her husband and boys. She discovered while she was there that she liked being free, independent and unfettered. She decided she no longer wanted to be a mother. She'd lost herself a little bit and and wanted to make herself a higher priority. So she did. She put herself first, divorced her husband and left her children.

It should be noted that she now has them for six hours a week and it's quality time. Instead of just being together, they use the time to cook together and do homework and she's a better mother for that six hours than she could have been full-time. (Insert gagging sound here.)

Oh, and just so you know, her children, who are now teenagers aren't suffering. They're happy and well-adjusted and now they get a better mother than they otherwise would have. (This would be a good place to roll your eyes.)

Oh, and if they have any issues later in life because of their mother's abandonment, there's therapy that can help them get through that and they'll be fine. (Watch the interview, you'll see I'm not misrepresenting her or her therapist co-guest.)

Oh, and she wrote a book. Big deal. That doesn't make you all that interesting or important. I'm not sure she deserved to make all of her decisions based on herself. She wasn't that impressive.

I've had a really hard time getting this interview off my mind. As I watched it, I noticed that Ms. Rizzuto hardly ever smiled. She didn't seem happy to me. She justified, rationalized, talked about her own worth and how she didn't want to lose herself, but the self she'd found didn't seem happy at all. Maybe she was a really crappy mother and maybe her kids are better off without her. That isn't the point. To me, the point is that where there's a high degree of selfishness, there doesn't seem to be a high degree of contentment, satisfaction, and joy.

There's such a difference between making ourselves A priority and making ourselves THE priority. I make myself a priority by making time for a nice, long bath, by sometimes ignoring a messy house and reading a book, by spending quality time (usually a lot more than six hours a week) with my husband and children. I make myself a priority by occasionally buying myself some See's chocolates, talking with friends on the phone or making a Costco lazagna instead of a big dinner from scratch. I make myself a priority by taking a nap when I feel really, really tired, watching a movie or TV show I want to watch or wasting some time playing a video game.

All of these things take care of me. When I'm not around my kids I miss them. A lot. I can't imagine that not having them around would make me happier or more fulfilled. The value of my life is increased because I'm their mom. That's not all I am, but it's the most important thing that I am.

I could leave them and go out into the world and try to affect lives and make a difference. Or I can make a difference here in my little piece of the world and hopefully send out four well-adjusted, unselfish and loved people into the world to make a difference.

It isn't just about me anymore. And if it were, how pathetic would that be? I'm just not interesting enough to make it all about me.

And in my opinion, neither was she.

Count Your Blessings

When upon life's billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name then one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.
LDS Hymn

I love the words to this hymn. When we feel discouraged, frustrated, overwhelmed, weary, tempest-tossed, lost, lonely, misunderstood or any of the other emotions that drag us down, we can get a little pick-me-up by counting our blessings. It doesn't always remove all those other things from our lives, but it helps put them into perspective.

Today I've had to do a little blessing counting, so I thought I'd take note of a few things I'm thankful for. I'm leaving out the obvious ones--my family, the gospel and a comfortable home. I am thankful for those things, but today I tried to think of some of the more obscure things I'm thankful for, things maybe I don't always recognize as blessings.

I'm thankful for a car that almost always starts on the first try.

I'm thankful for a perfect cup of hot cocoa.

I'm thankful for sparkling clean bathrooms.

I'm thankful for books.

I'm thankful for lively and spirited conversation.

I'm thankful for a freshly swept floor.

I'm thankful for prayer.

I'm thankful for Uncle David, for his life, his faith, his example and his sense of humor.

I'm thankful for advances in hair products for curly hair.

I'm thankful for Bare Minerals (once you try it, you'll never go back!)

I'm thankful for all of you who read my blog.

I'm thankful for all of you who leave a comment--even Anonymous, who thinks I'm jealous of Stephenie Meyer. (I don't want to write books like hers, but I might be a teeny, tiny bit jealous of how many she's sold.)

My Problem with the Twilight Series - And It's a BIG One

At first I was caught up in the frenzy just like everyone else. Stephenie Meyer had created a world of danger and angst and romance that was hard to beat. Bella was normal and clumsy and relatable. Edward was romantic, handsome, tortured and forbidden. Does it get any better than that? I read Twilight in a couple of days and was glad I'd come late to the party, so I didn't have to wait for the next two books.

I'd heard that a lot of people didn't like New Moon--not enough Edward. I disagreed. I liked Jacob. I liked their friendship. I wasn't bored. To be honest, I was disappointed when Edward came back, although I knew he would.

Eclipse was my favorite of the series. The love triangle was believable and painful. Bella was really torn, and rightfully so. Jacob and Edward represented two different destinies and the choice was difficult. I loved the scene when Rosalie takes Bella aside and tells her the life of a vampire isn't what she'd have chosen--she'd have wanted to have children, a family, a real life. But Bella was still torn. We probably all would be. She's offered forever with her first love or a different kind of love that included her best friend, her parents and children.

Stephenie Meyer created some memorable scenes that were very entertaining. The tent scene is one of my favorites--great dialogue, some humor and more romance. As I read, I was thrilled at what was to come. Meyer was setting up an incredible choice for Bella. Each option had both pros and cons and BIG consequences. It was great storytelling and I was hanging on Bella's decision. In fact, Bella described it best--Edward was a drug and Jacob was the sunshine. Eclipse left me hanging. I wanted to know what she'd choose.

******At this point, I must offer full disclosure. While I understood the appeal of Edward, I was firmly on Jacob's side. I love being a mom. I can't imagine not having children. I can't imagine having to give up my parents. To me, Bella's life with Edward would be shallow and hollow and empty.*******

And here is my problem with the Twilight series.

I eagerly awaited Breaking Dawn. I expected some real turmoil as Bella struggled with the choice that was left hanging in the air at the end of Eclipse. What would she choose? A romantic life with Edward and the Cullens, but no children, no contact with her family, no Jacob and no sunshine? Or would she choose a life with Jacob and a different kind of love, but with children, with her parents, with the perils of mortality and death? It was a hard choice and the consequences were enormous on both sides.

BUT NO! All the rules that Meyer's had created through the first three books, all the drama that had been set up, the terrible choice that would involve incredible sacrifice no matter what she chose...


There were no more rules--Bella could get pregnant after all after some wild and violent and teenage inappropriate sex (who were these books marketed to?). Jacob, whose very existence was defined by his hatred of vampires could remain friends with a vampire Bella and even imprint on a half-vampire child. (And don't even get me started on the ridiculous name of the baby.) What was the point of Rosalie's conversation with Bella? What was the point of creating a dramatic choice, if no choice had to be made?

Breaking Dawn starts out with the wedding, almost as if the choice didn't have to be made. What? Did I miss something? Is there a missing book between Eclipse and Breaking Dawn? Now Bella can have it all AND WITH NONE OF THE CONSEQUENCES.

THAT ISN'T REAL! Don't tell me that none of it is real. I know that. But good fiction, even fantasy fiction, has to be based on some sort of trust between the author and the reader and Meyer (or her editor or publisher) decided that all the trust that had been built during the first three books was meaningless and could be flushed down the toilet without a thought.

I was disappointed. Whatever choice Bella made, I wanted the choice to matter. I wanted some of the real pain that accompanies hard choices. I wanted my teenage daughter to see the result of choices. I wanted all of my Young Women to see that choices have consequences and have to be carefully considered. I wanted everything I'd learned of the world Stephenie Meyers created to be consistent. Good fiction is consistent.

Breaking Dawn disappointed me in almost every way.

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How-To Tuesday -- How to Clear Out an I-MAX Theater and News on a Great Review!

Christie had a great idea for How-To Tuesday, where we can all share a little know-how with each other. She said we could be serious or silly. Since I got a great review on my book (you can read it here) and an even greater letter from my missionary, I'm not feeling too serious, so while the knowledge I share with you is true, I'm not sure you'll all be running out to give it a try. This is my first-hand knowledge on how to clear out an I-MAX theater. (I'll try to do something really useful next week!)


We'd traveled to Portland, Oregon for a funeral and had spent the night in a hotel. I was pregnant with my third child and through trial and error, the doctor and I had figured out how to help me not throw up everything I ate. The solution was a B-6 vitamin and half a Unisom every night before bed. The problem was that I'd forgotten my remedy in the car and had been too tired to go get it once I remembered it. I thought I'd be okay. I hadn't thrown up for several days. Maybe this was a chance to see if I could make it without my nightly anti-vomit cocktail.

The next morning, I felt a little queasy, but not too bad. We went to breakfast where I tried to enjoy some bland scrambled eggs and toast. Everyone else had pancakes or omeletes and they looked delicious, but I didn't dare risk it.

My husband and two younger brothers decided it would be fun to go to an I-MAX showing of "The Magic of Flight," a movie featuring the daring skills of the Blue Angels. I love air shows and that sounded fun, so we went to the I-MAX theater and got great seats--right in the middle of the theater with a great view of the enormous screen.

The movie was exciting and the aerial tricks were impressive. Unfortunately, as the movie went on, I started salivating--a sure sign that my pregnancy sickness was kicking into gear. My three-year-old daughter decided she wanted held and so she was snuggled up on my lap as the screen began to show a spinning dive toward earth from inside the cockpit. I closed my eyes and swallowed hard. "You're okay. You're okay. You're okay," I repeated to myself, hoping that like the little engine that could, I could talk myself into being okay.

When I thought I'd kept my eyes closed long enough to miss the in-flight acrobatics that had threatened me, I opened my eyes. Clouds were spinning, a plane in front of me was twisting wildly and before I knew it, a shower of puke was sillouetted against the screen. It was impressive and violent and uncontrollable. After the first eruption had flown magnificently through the air, I tried to stand up, but my large stomach and three-year-old daughter made it impossible, so with the next wave, I simply leaned over and threw up the rest of my breakfast into the empty chair beside me.

It was disgusting. It was humiliating. I started crying. I got up and carried my daughter out of the theater and to the bathroom, where I tried to clean us both up.

They weren't able to show the next screening. I may very well have disrupted their entire schedule that day.

And that, my friends, is how to clear out an I-MAX theater.

The Power of Suggestion

The power of suggestion is a powerful thing.

The alarm went off. I got up. I said to hubby, "It's time to get up." He ignored me.

I got dressed and said, "It's time to get up." He ignored me again. I started a load of laundry and got the kids up, then told him again, "It's time to get up." I stood in the doorway and waited. He ignored me.

I walked to my nightstand and picked up my empty water glass and held it menacingly in the air. "I'd get up if I were you." Thinking there was water in the glass, he stirred and started to get up.

"If you throw water on me, I'll be forced to break your pinkie toe." He got up, I didn't throw water on him and he didn't break my pinkie toe.

Later that day, as I ran to answer the door, my left pinkie toe was violently stubbed against the corner of the couch. The nail was ripped almost off and judging by the look and feel of it, I'd have to say it's probably broken.

It hurts.

Why couldn't he have said, "If you throw water on me, I'll have to have housekeepers show up at the front door."

My Thoughts on BYU Basketball

I'm trying to be philisophical about the turn of events this week in BYU basketball, but it's really hard. I know the actions taken by the school regarding Brandon Davies were fair and right. I can imagine he must be feeling humiliated and devastated at what his poor choices have caused and I feel for him. Last night as Jimmer Fredette and the rest of the team struggled, it was clear that they'd been dealt a near-fatal blow and hadn't had a chance to bandage the wound.

"Why do I care so much?" I've asked myself over and over the last two days. After all, it's a game. It's guys dribbling a ball and trying to put it in a net. There are no lives at stake, world peace doesn't hang in the balance. I'm confident that at the judgment bar there will be no box scores to justify and no win/loss records to review. I think of the Davies family who must feel so disappointed. I think of a team that rallied together and danced around Davies before each game. They're the ones suffering the most.

But those of us who love basketball, and BYU basketball in particular, are feeling it too.

You see, BYU basketball has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. I was taken to BYU basketball games in a baby carrier when Dad was a student at BYU.

When I was a very little girl, I remember being with my family at a stoplight in Provo as we excitedly waved to Kresimir Cosic, the basketball hero from Yugoslavia who played for BYU in the early 70's and who c0nverted to the church and then took the gospel to Yugoslavia. He was a giant man folded into a tiny car and we got to see him.

Dad and Mom had season tickets for years and as one of the oldest children, I had the opportunity to go to some of the games. I loved them. I kept track of points, rebounds and steals in the little boxes provided in the programs. If there were empty seats up close, we'd move closer at half time so we could get a better view of the action. I watched Danny Ainge, Devin Durrant, the Roberts brothers and so many more. It was a fun outing with Dad and a few uncles and cousins.

I learned what a zone defense was and how it differed from man-to-man. I developed an appreciation for great passing. I learned to love the game.

When I was fifteen, we moved to Missouri. One of my biggest losses was no BYU basketball games. For two seasons, I drove to the end of our long lane, parked the car there in the dark, and carefully adjusted the radio to 1160. Thank goodness it wasn't digital or I'd have never gotten it, but if I got the car in just the right place, and the dial in the exact spot, I could hear Paul James, along with a lot of static, and I could hear my team play. That first year, BYU traveled to Oklahoma and played Oklahoma State and Oral Roberts on two different nights. I got to go to both games and even got to meet a couple of the players after the game outside the locker room.

A couple of times, if there was a big game we couldn't get, Dad and some uncles and cousins (me included) would go to to a bigger town to a hotel with cable, rent a room and crowd in to watch the game. It was a big deal.

After my mission, BYU had the Mike Smith, Jeff Chapman, Jim Usevitch run and I attended almost every home game. I met and went out twice with Jim Usevitch, even attending the BYU game at the University of Utah, where I met him after the game and we walked to the car while a couple of drunk Utah fans threw garbage at us. I wanted to turn around and fight, but Jim stayed calm and we walked quietly to the car.

I can't remember a time when I wasn't a BYU fan. You can see why my feelings run deep. And this year was the year. It was our year. After many years of getting my hopes up only to have them dashed, usually in the first or second round, I've learned to savor my hope with a good dose of skepticism. But after the game Saturday, the skepticism retreated and I really thought this was it. Then Monday we were ranked third and I KNEW this was it. I was ready to buckle up for the March ride of a lifetime.

And then Tuesday came. I hope Brandon knows that I wish him well. I hope he gets his life squared away and that he comes out of this in a good place. But last night, as frustration turned to heartache as I watched his teammates struggle with no time to adjust to this hard, new reality, I felt like crying.

I guess I need to not care so much. Can someone please tell me how to do that?

Frazzled Moms

Sadly, this mom's hair looks a little too much like my own!

Sometimes moms get so tired they can't think straight. Sometimes they get so tired they can barely think at all. This posting is not mean-spirited. I laughed with these moms and I'm sure they wouldn't care if you laughed right along with us.

Story One

Tonight my sister and her husband went to a wedding, leaving their five children with us for a couple of hours. In her haste to get herself and the five kids ready to leave the house, she put on two black shoes so she could get her husband's opinion about which looked best. Then they loaded the family in the car and headed to our house.

About a half an hour from home (and a half an hour from my house), she got a horrified look on her face. "What's wrong?" her husband asked.

"I've done something really bad," she said. Her husband was alarmed. Did they leave the oven on? or the water running?

"What is it?"

What it was, was two black shoes that didn't match. Luckily I had a pair she could borrow. A little too tight and pretty uncomfortable, but at least they matched.

Story Two:

A friend of mine, who was in the Primary presidency called me one Monday afternoon. My kids had been sick the day before and had missed Primary. "Karey, we're putting together little books for all the dads for Father's Day. Since your kids weren't there yesterday, I was wondering if I could drop off their pages and have them draw a picture for their dads, so their pictures will be included in the book."

Of course I agreed and about an hour later she stood on my doorstep with two pieces of plain, white typing paper in hand.

"This is it?" I asked.

"Yes?" she said. She looked confused.

"Did you not think I'd have any paper at my house?" She looked at the paper in her hand and started laughing. Hysterically. She couldn't stop. When she finally gained her composure, she gave me the two pieces of typing paper. My kids drew their pictures and the next day I dropped them off at her house, where we enjoyed another good laugh.

The moral of these stories is that moms get tired. They sometimes get overwhelmed. And sometimes in the middle of it all, there's nothing to do but laugh.