Friday, February 29, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
If the youngest is crying, and you give some bubbles to the big kids so they can distract him, he might stop crying, but the arguing among the elder children might be so loud and vehement that you consider taking the bubbles away, even if the little one starts crying again.
If there is a water and ice dispenser in the door of the refrigerator, there will always be at least 20 cups and glasses on the table, half-filled with water and ice. Even though there are only eleven children.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
I'm spending this week at Ivy's house while Ivy and her husband are gallivanting around Orlando, Florida. (I totally approve of the gallivanting, by the way. They'd better be having marathon fun!) That makes me, the lone adult, with eleven children, ages 19 months to 12 years. Of course, more than half are my children, so it's not really as big of a deal as you'd think. The days start off pretty calmly, and it's only around dinner time that the noise reaches such a level that I start to feel like joining along with the screaming. And right after that, it's bed time, the best part of the day.
Ivy and I have watched each other's kids several times, and it's interesting to see how interactions between the kids change as they get older. For example, the older boys now spend a lot of their time talking about their "band." Keep in mind that none of them plays an instrument. Well, Ivy's oldest is taking guitar lessons, and my boys play the piano. Occasionally I hear a couple of bars of something familiar from the guitar, but that's about it.
Of course they've discussed band names, and isn't that the most important part of being in a band? A few of their ideas are Fried Chicken, Fudge, and The Band. (There have been a lot of ideas, but I can't remember any more than that right now.) They've had some pretty heated arguments about who's going to play which instrument. I've also heard this sentence spoken: "What if someone doesn't practice enough before the concert?" That's when I wanted to yell, "What concert?!" But I refrained. They are 12, 10, and 9 and don't appreciate their ridiculousness.
I think it would be kind of cool if they actually learned to play drums, guitar, bass, etc. and covered some Foo Fighters songs or something. But I doubt that they'll come to me for suggestions. Maybe they'll let me make anti-suggestions: please not "Ironman" and only "Sweet Child of Mine" if you're joking. I'll just be hoping they don't get anything pierced or tattooed, and trying not to stand too close to the drum set, which is really loud, did you know? Even a kid size one. Even when it's being played by a 2-year-old.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
The fourth book in the Harry Potter series has a pretty slow and meandering start that lasts for about 3/4 of the book. Maybe I was a little burned out on Harry by the time I started it. I also remembered the movie pretty well, and maybe that made it less exciting. I do think the plot moves more slowly than in the others and it's not even really clear what the plot is, because the connections between events are intentionally unclear until the end.
However, the end was so suspenseful and exciting that it made up for the rest. Even though I knew what was going to happen, I was riveted. It also set up the fifth book in a way that the movie didn't.
So I guess I'm a Harry Potter convert. I resisted for a long time. But after I finished Goblet of Fire, I had that familiar bittersweet feeling of missing the characters as if they were real friends that I'd lost contact with. I can reread the books and see the movies, especially the coming sixth and seventh, but there won't be any new adventures. So why is that feeling bittersweet, instead of just bitter? I think it's because knowing the characters was a good experience, one I wouldn't give up. And while the Harry Potter books are great adventure stories, there's also a lot to learn from them, and not just about really evil evil vs. regular good, but about friendship and growing up.
And here's my favorite Dumbledore quote, from the movie because the book has apparently been swallowed by the black hole that is the kids' library: "Dark and difficult times lie ahead. Soon we must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy."
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Jon and I got to see Juno in Manhattan, which was fun--I think we rode five really long escalators to get to the theater, which was probably on the twelfth floor. From a window up there, we could see the tops of some of the enormous billboards that cover the buildings just off of Times Square. Strangely, the huge ads we happened to see from that height were for QVC products, the biggest for a hose attachment that apparently makes one extremely happy. Judging from the ad, anyway. I didn't expect to see ads for QVC in Times Square. (Okay, just off of Times Square, but still.)
Anyway, the movie was excellent. I kind of wish we'd spent loads of money on it instead of on the play we saw the night before. If it's still playing near you, you should go see it.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
On the one hand, this is quite enjoyable, nicely written and calming. On the other hand, it's too simplistic and positive. Tears of the Giraffe is the second in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, which takes place in Botswana. It reminded me of the one book in the Mitford series by Jan Karon that I've read.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Our library doesn't have a very big selection, so sometimes I end up watching something like this. It's the first thing I've seen with Hilary and/or Haylie Duff, besides Napoleon Dynamite. Chalk it up to pop culture research.
It was cute, though. And the corporate guy with the Bluetooth headset who was constantly having ambiguous conversations was hilarious. The Bluetooth Robo Guy talking to the air or responding inappropriately will become more and more funny, I think. On being introduced to someone, this guy said, "I love you very much. Yes. 'Bye."
Monday, February 4, 2008
It took me quite a while to get through Bushman's excellent, scholarly biography of Joseph Smith, and I'm proud of myself for it, in a silly, ridiculous way. After all, I'm a fiction-reader at heart, and this is a big book! And scholarly!
It really is excellent, though, and covers everything you've ever heard about Joseph Smith. He puts Joseph into the context of his own time and, maybe most importantly for me, helped me understand what Joseph and Emma's marriage may have been like. I thought it was wonderful.