Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mother Article

I found this on a friend's facebook page, and I absolutely love it.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


We decided to get some chickens so we could have some eggs. We bought some full-grown hens from a woman and they layed about an egg a day. We loved it! So we decided to hatch some eggs and raise some more chickens. A wonderful couple in our ward let us borrow their incubator and have some fertilized eggs. It was fun watching the whole process. Our children loved watching the eggs hatch and were fascinated with it all.

The incubator with eggs in the process and chicks that had just hatched.

One of the chicks just after it hatched.

The baby chicks just a couple of days after they hatched. Jim made a feeder and a box that was perfect for them!

Annale and one of the Rhode Island Reds

A friend of ours asked us if we would be interested in taking in two more chickens. We were very excited since we have so few after some dogs had killed some of our hens. One of our newest additions is a breed called a Silky. She is really sweet and soft. The kids love her!

Jim's Trip to Washington D.C.

Jim was able to spend a day in Washington D.C. in May. He's wanted to go there for so long and see the historical sites. He got to tour the city from the top of a double-decker bus.

Union Station

The Capitol building where Congress meets.

The mall from the front steps of the Capital

The view from directly underneath the Capital Dome.

This is a copy of the Declaration of Independence that is hung in the room that was originally the floor of the House of Representatives or the Senate. (He couldn't remember which.) There was an identical frame of the Constitution on the other side of the room.

A statue of Thomas Jefferson holding the Declaration of Independence

Jim and a statue of Ronald Reagan

The Washington Monument! One cool fact: on the very top where no-one can see it are written the words. "Laus Deo!" which means "Praise be to God!"

Just before going to the Jefferson Monument spent about 4 hours in the galleries of the House and the Senate watching what was going on. He wasn't too impressed and was actually very disappointed. Then he went straight to the Jefferson Monument and it almost brought him to tears!

Jefferson Monument

There were quote on the walls surrounding the Thomas Jefferson Monument. These are some of the quotes that Jim loved.

"I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors."

"God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever. Commerce between master and slave is despotism. Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free. Establish a law for educating the common people. This it is the business of the state and on a general plan."

"Almighty God hath created the mind free. All attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens . . . are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion . . . No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship or ministry or shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion. I know but one code of morality for men whether acting singly or collectively."

A neat statue of Benjamin Franklin. I'm not sure what the building is, though.

The Navy Memorial

One of the random artistic pieces around the city -- either that or an aluminum foil factory plant exploded.

Jim was thrilled to find a statue of himself in Washington D.C. . . . but, what's with the horse?

Jim was sad that the kids and I couldn't be there with him (and we were too). Someday we will all have to go to Washington D.C. as a family and learn more about the history of our great nation!

Smithsonian Aerospace and Aviation Museum

One of the great places Jim was able to visit while he was in Washington D.C. was the Smithsonian Aerospace and Aviation Museum. He loved seeing all the different planes, rockets, and jets that were there.

F23 Joint Strike Fighter

An F14

Wow! Look! It's the Space Shuttle!

Rocket Scientist Heaven . . .

Some of the early inventions in Rocket Science.

This picture is Jim next to the Space Shuttle main engine.

If you thought the Space Shuttle main engine was big . . . this one was almost twice the size!

This mailbox was made to look like R2D2.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Fathers' Day 2010

As many of you know, I write a weekly article for the newspaper here. I enjoy writing. The Saturday before Fathers' Day, this was my article that was published.

I love Father's Day; it's one of the few days out of the year when I can show the men in my life how much they mean to me without making them think I'm going to ask for something. Although Fathers' Day has much less fanfare than Mothers' Day, I still think that men contribute more than we sometimes give them credit for.
For example, my husband can fix a leaking toilet and look good while doing it. I can't even fix the toilet, so I appreciate him so much in those moments.
Many men are so great at playing with the kids (and not feeling the least bit silly). The other day my husband helped my daughters make rocket ships out of cardboard boxes and they flew to all the planets in the solar system, and he taught them about each one. I got a text from him saying that they finally made it back to Earth (which is good, because I was getting worried)! My daughters talked about that trip for the next few days. I would have been too impatient to spend that much time with them, and would have felt silly trying to fit inside a box, but he had so much enthusiasm that the children hardly knew they were learning.
My Dad was the same way with us as we were growing up. I have fond memories of playing kickball (Dad against all the kids) and of working with him in the garden. My Dad is also the strongest person I know. I remember him lifting one side of a piano up a flight of stairs into our apartment while three guys took the other end. My Dad also is the best storyteller in the world. He can make people laugh. I also always admired how much he loves and protects my Mom. He was a wonderful example to me of what a husband and father should be. So, that's what I looked for in a husband.
One of my favorite things about our husbands and fathers is that everything feels right when they are home. I look forward to the time when my husband gets home every single day. I check out the window for the car probably a hundred times before he finally gets there. The kids are happier, I am happier, and our home just feels better with him there.
A good man also tries not to look frightened when you come out of the bathroom wearing a pale purple mask on your face (he may snicker some, but I actually don't blame him). A good man swallows the soup you cooked even though it was horribly salty and had virtually no other flavor (not speaking from experience, of course). A good man lets you follow your passion even though he may not understand it at all. A good man kisses you when he leaves for work and kisses you when he gets home because he misses you so much (and you miss him too!) A good man is willing to face the fearsome broken-down swamp cooler on the hot roof in the middle of the summer or to bravely go check on any scary sounds you hear in the middle of the night.
So, although the men may be content with a handmade card to celebrate Fathers' Day, I think it's only right to find a way to let them know that they mean so much more to us. I, for one, plan on grilling him a big steak and serving his favorite cheesecake for dessert. Then he'll know for sure I that love him!

. . . and I actually did make steaks and cheesecake. It was delicious!

Mmm . . . these steaks were so incredible!

The strawberry cheesecake

Just in case . . .

. . . you've ever wondered what an entire roll of toilet paper looks like -- unrolled -- and piled on a floor . . . this is it.