24 February 2008

A Moral Moment

While explaining about how we know good actions from bad actions, I said, "..like when you want to push your sister..."

"...Or throw a rock at her!" he interjects with relish.

"Ummm.... yes. Or want to throw a rock at her..."

How you know when you've been playing too much Super Mario Galaxy

While watching her Daddy play, the 'Sita distinctly states, "Bowza, messy! Nonono!"

23 February 2008


After deliberating about this for a while, I have decided to reinvent the Cita as the Sita. The "Cita" came from a shortening of "Rosita" (little rose), and I put a "c" instead of an "s" because it looked better to me. I forgot about "cita" being a real word in Spanish meaning, "date" or "appointment." I feel that as she gets older, it would be best to not be calling her, "my daughter, the date."

Henceforth and forthwith, she shall be known as the Sita, which name she should have been all along.

An Ah-Ha! (Svithe-ish) Moment

Once upon a time (no one knows precisely when) I listened to a talk by one of the Twelve Apostles (it could have been Elders Holland, Oaks, Eyring, or Maxwell), and it changed my life. I'm really quite sorry I don't have a better memory of who gave this talk or when it was - I know it was during my freshman year at college.

In it, the speaker told us that we were always being prompted to do good things, and that we should act on any good thing that came into our minds because it came from God. We shouldn't worry about offending the person or worrying that they wouldn't want our help, if it was potentially good, then we should just do it. I was struck by that thought then, and it still influences me now.

I remember that slightly after that talk, I found someone trying to get down a rather slick walkway (ok, so I can narrow it down to wintertime). She was a disabled girl that I had seen around, and she was doing ok, but I felt that I should go and help her down the slope. Immediately I thought, "But what if I offend her because she doesn't want help or pity?" Then I remembered that exhortation to act on any good thing I could do.

I helped her.

She was very grateful and said that I was an answer to her prayer. That seemed a little strange to me because I didn't feel like I was doing anything especially wonderful - it was just a random thought that popped into my head - not a burning desire or anything spectacular.

That experience was liberating somehow - because I could fear my own doubts a little less.

In that moment of enlightenment, I also began to understand how Heavenly Father can use us as His instruments; how small and simple things really can bring great things to pass. Perhaps not great things in the eyes of the world, but perhaps in the eyes of the person who we can help in that small moment.

17 February 2008

But I want it!

The Spozo most Maravilloso got me a new digital camera for Christmas. He did a very good job reading reviews and getting the best one for the price range it's in. Unfortunately, I still prefer my ancient one over the newcomer. I (regrettably) threw several hissy fits over the new one because it wasn't what I was used to, and the pictures I took were miserable. (Sorry to family members that I was supposed to be taking portraits of!)

The Spozo philosophically realized that he would never, not ever want me to pick out a gidget for him without much consultation and well, picking it himself; in short, that he had committed the cardinal sin of buying a me-specific gadget without my input. More, he agrees that the new camera's picture quality is not what he was expecting. Now that he has confessed and repented of this most grievous gift-giving sin, he is quite ready to let me get the Camera of My Dreams.

Within reason.

I would love to buy one of those thousands of dollars beauties, but being a (somewhat) rational creature, I have focused in on the Nikon D80. It is almost a completely irrational attraction, but I cannot deny it. Yes, yes, I know that the Canons are quite nice, too. (And having gotten to play with one recently, I can say they are very, very nice indeed!) But that doesn't change the fact that I want a Nikon.


10 February 2008

Hack, Hack

Of course one of the few Sundays we both had to be at Sacrament meeting, both of our kids are very very sick. Much of the night they spent coughing in their sleep.

So what do we do? We dress them up and bring them with us.

I don't know if I'd recommend doing this again.

Thankfully, we have wonderful friends that helped us out during the bit that we were both occupied. Thanks, friends!

Don't worry, the kidlets went (happily) home with Dad after the meeting was over. I guess some bug is taking out all the kids the Dude's age because only 2 of the usual 6 kids were there in his class today. I guess they're just exceptionally good bug sharers.

07 February 2008

I guess I am bloodthirsty

I just heard on the radio about some parents that actually .... I don't want to say encouraged ... but allowed their son to have sex with his girlfriend in his bedroom. Knowingly!

So now, if the Cita ever wants to visit her boyfriend at his house, I must have met his parents and had a nice cup of (herbal) tea with them while I get them to sign in triplicate that they will neither encourage or consent to our children being alone in a room with a closed door at all. And that if anything does happen, their son will be celibate. By force. Permanently.

Would that provide enough incentive, do you think?

05 February 2008

Rant no. 2

After wobbling between not sending the Dude to Kindergarten at all in the state of California, homeschooling, and sending him "early" (he's just past the deadline), I decided that I should at least see if I can get him in early. I wrangled the Dude and Cita to a kindergarten open house to see if I could get some questions answered.

I didn't expect that we were going on to visit every single classroom on the school grounds. The Cita panicked because of so many new faces and environments, and the Dude lost interest after 3rd grade, so we ended up staying in the halls and learning the names of the states and their capitals and looking for stars.

I did learn two valuable things: which kindergarten teacher I would trust my son to, and that his reading level was easily in the 3rd grade and perhaps in 4th grade (although my elementary-ed sis-in-law told me it was 5th-6th last summer).

The meaningless question and answer period - first with the PTA, then with a teacher, and then with the student council and then with the principal. Luckily, we were in the school's library and the kids amused themselves by reading books. Or becoming a ghost to haunt the student council and crash into folding chairs. The Dude pulled out a Dr. Seuss tome and sat at the same table as the principal to read it.

Finally, after everyone had finished asking their insipid questions about school lunches and recess and filed out, I got the principal's attention. She admitted to being impressed with his reading, she also thought that he proved himself to be emotionally ready for kindergarten and greeted with surprise the fact that he hasn't gone to (formal) preschool.

As I explained the reasons why I wanted the Dude admitted to kindergarten this year rather than next, she very agreeably agreed with most of my points. 1)the Dude can read already 1.5)he is just past the deadline 2)he is starting to do simple addition 3)he knows his numbers to 100 (mostly) 4)he's just past the deadline! She very sympathetically said the law is the law is the law... but let me give you some phone numbers.

I am so frustrated with this. I understand the need to set some limits, but I am really frustrated (see those italics?) with how the system only deals with outliers in one direction. There are a plethora of programs for "Special Education." But the Special part is for the kids that are struggling. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm glad that they have safety nets for kids that don't handle normal schooling well.


It seems like the really smart kids are just expected to make do with the normal education. I think that is as unfair as expecting a kid that has problems learning to make do with normal education. It is NOT fair.

Should we be surprised that a lot of gifted kids are the ones that don't do well in a "normal" classroom environment? (Here's where we trot Einstein out.) I knew a couple extremely bright people that did horribly in "normal" classrooms just because they were extremely bored - or because they were always thinking outside the box, and the teachers only rewarded the inside the boxers. Once they got among their true peers (in age AND ability) they really shone. (Especially with outside-the-box-appreciating-teachers). A recent issue of Time Magazine focused on truly brilliant kids that dropped out of school for various reasons - mostly because the system neglected them in some way.

Now that I've talked to the District person once, he's promised to get back to me, he didn't, I called again, his secretary reassured me he'd get back to me, and he hasn't, I am leaning toward giving His Districtness a Severe Lecture and then opting for "homeschooling" the Dude through kindergarten. I want him to have the social fun of kindergarten, but having him sit through "A is 'a' like 'apple'" is ridiculous when he can read this: (which he did tonight without any help)

And after this manner was the language of my father in the praising of his God; for his soul did rejoice and his whole heart was filled, be-cause (hyphenated because of a line break) of the things which he had seen, yea, which the Lord had shown unto him.

03 February 2008

Contested Territory

The Dude and Cita have a new game: Who's Got Mommy?

The rules seem to be that you can play at any time. Bonus Points for being the one who starts it.

Once you have successfully gotten Mommy to snuggle with you, you turn to your sibling and laugh maniacal laughter to indicate that you have won that round.

The unsnuggled sib then comes to the mommy and tries to get possession of half of the Mommy Lapspace so that they can join in the maniacal laughter and then the jumping starts.

This lasts until the mommy goes crazy from all the bouncing and laughing and general craziness and finds something that Has To Be Done Immediately so she can jettison the children with good reason.