Weird... you gotta try this!

My friend Cindy sent this to me! It is a hoot!


You have to try this, it takes 2 seconds.

It is from an orthopedicsurgeon............This will boggle your mind and you will keep you trying over and overagain to see if you can outsmart your foot.It's pre-programmed in your brain!

1. Without anyone watching you (they will think you are GOOFY......)and while sitting at your desk in front of your computer, lift yourright foot off the floor and make clockwise circles.

2. Now, while doing this, draw the number '6' in the air with yourright hand.

Your foot will change direction.

I told you so!!! And there's nothing you can do about it! You and Iboth know how stupid it is, but before the day is done you are goingto try it again, if you've not already done so.Send it to your friends to frustrate them too!

Now, I thought I was doing it the first time until I realized (without me knowing it) my foot was going in the opposite direction! Then I thought I had it again and realized I was not making a 6 with my hand, but rather more of a music director motion... so that is why it was happening!

So, how did you do?


Why Toddlers Need Supervision While Taking a Bath!

Because they might do this:
And that requires supervision because that can be turned into a face full of water in no time!

This has become Callie's new "thing"! When she takes a bath she will completely lower herself onto her back and bask in the water. The problem is, if I make the bath a little too deep (it does not take much), she will still try to do it! She lays back and when she tried to get back up she will flip to her side to push herself up and get a face full of water. And then when that happens and she realizes it is too deep, does that stop her... nope! She will keep trying to do it and end up with a face full of water every time. But she still pops up smiling!

They do not like to take a bath in very little water, so there is a fine line between just the right amount and too little. Last night I think I achieved the "just the right amount" of water and boy was Callie happy. She spent most the bath laying down on her back and sitting up... so of course I had to grab the camera and capture the cuteness!

I love how Callie can not resist singing Happy Birthday to You! It is her favorite song. Yesterday she and Jovie were putting money in the piggy bank (if you take the plug out the money falls through and they just think they have a never-ending pile of money, they love it... keeps 'em busy for awhile... try it sometime... but again... small money... needs supervision) and Callie starts singing Happy Birthday and then would stop at random times and Jovie would finish it until they were both singing together and it was so cute!

And just because she asked so nicely, here are some pictures from the bath at Jovie's request, (you can see her asking for me to take an actual picture in the video)!


A Hairless Grandpa!


My dad starts Chemo next Wednesday... but the good news is:

He is going to be OK! The doctor says he thinks he only has Stage 1 cancer and even if it turns out to be Stage 2, there is a 95% cure rate! With my dad's health and his positive outlook, I am sure he is going to be fine!

I did not want to dwell on it and just sit around waiting for the call today so I went out and did some shopping. I got back to see my answering machine light blinking. My heart skipped a beat and I went to check it... this was it... this was the good or bad news! Then I hear, "This is a message from Senator McCain... Barack Obama wants to take away our guns!" I could have screamed!!! Although I am in general a Republican and very anti-abortion therefore have a hard time ever voting for a democrat... I am tempted to not vote republican because the 2 calls a day I get from "McCain" that make me want to SCREAM!!! Doesn't he realize people are waiting around for important phone calls about their dad's cancer and that they are giving them irregular heart beats!!! And the messages sound so mean and menacing... and don't get me started on McCain's health care plan. MCCAIN... call me!!! I am a wife of a teacher with 7 kids... you want a bit of reality about how your tax plan will do SQUAT for most people give me a call! I will explain it to you! If I have to hear, "If you make $60,000 a year you will get...."! Newsflash... WHAT ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE NO WHERE NEAR THAT!!! HELLO! Tax credits will do nothing because we already get all the $$ back anyway... therefore it does NOTHING for us! Boy oh boy did I want to ask that question at the town hall meeting and why in the world is the media not picking up on this! Help the middle class my butt... over $60,000... you should be doing fine!!!

Now, as for why I can not vote for Obama... don't even get me started on Abortion rights! Maybe that will be for another blog where I start out talking about something serious and get de-railed into a tirade. This election needs to end....

Oops... look at me... goodness I am a mess... that is what stress will do to you... make you get frustrated at politics and turn an innocent enough blog post into a rant on Health Care! I am but a shell of my former self...

So... GOOD NEWS! Thanks for your thoughts and prayers! They have been felt and have meant a lot to me and my family! My dad has a positive outlook and now I can tell Lettie that her Grandpa is sick, but will get better. Just the next time she sees him, he may be hairless... to which she squealed and added, "He won't have a mustache!" Now... that is going to be weird... but at least it is only temporary! He said, "You can let Nolan know that before he goes into the 2nd grade I will be getting my hair back!" That is good news indeed!!!


My Dad

This is a post about my Dad! He is the best dad in the world! He is a caring person, a hard worker, a level-headed fellow, a funny guy, and a good advice-giver! His grandkids adore him, particularly his granddaughters, particularly Lettie! We enjoy going to the mountains to see him and my mom! He takes the kids on tractor rides, Kaboda rides, to "count cows" (even if the count does not matter), and fishing. He also likes to feed the baby cows, get vegetables out of his garden, and start marshmellow roasting fires with them.

One of my favorite memories is of him coming home from work, picking me up to buy a Brownie Chocolate drink in a can at the local camp store and then we would go to the spill-way of a local large pond and try to catch small eels. We would pick up the clumps of algae on the spill-way looking for them. Our plan was that once the eel got caught we would then put it into the can (they were teenie... like the size of a worm). We never caught an eel. I almost picked up a leech once, but never an eel. But the fun was in the trying!

We went fishing together often and we even caught a bat once, which was kind of a cool adventure. He was always doing projects and on most of them you could come along if you wanted to. He would also go for walks around the neighborhood and often I would go and he let me talk and talk and talk his head off. But he never seemed to mind.

Here are some pictures of my dad:

Hanging out at the family reunion with Callie!

For some reason the Kaboda always puts Callie to sleep, so grandpa wrapped her up in his jacket nice and warm!

Using his fishing pole to tickle the back of Nolan's neck so he thought he had a bug on him! This went on for quite awhile until Nolan caught on!

Who needs an oar when you have a 2x4! He was going to unplug the stand-pipe of the pond. I think he used a stick and a piece of cloth to plug the drain hole in the boat!

Giving Nolan and Lettie a ride!

This was last week at a pumpkin field!

My mom and dad with my kids and April's kids!

Walking with his little shadow, Lettie, in the corn maze in the mountains. Lettie dotes on her grandpa!

In case you have not heard, he was just diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Treatment should probably begin soon. Prayers are appreciated.
The crazy thing is, he is not sick! Those last 3 picture were taken just last week. He feels fine. He just had a knot suddenly come up on his neck and went to get it checked out. The only thing that kills me is that during the treatment he probably can not see the kids. I went up there last weekend with just Lettie and Jovie and Lettie spent most of the time with her grandpa. The next time Lettie sees him he will probably not be well, and I do not know how to explain it to her. But he is strong and will get through this!

Redneck Fire Alarm!

My aunt sent this to my mom and I thought it was so funny and thought you guys would get a kick out of it too!


Did They Really Even Stand A Chance?

Congratulations to my Yonas!!!
At Clear Creek Elementary they have a "fun run" every year! You collect sponsors who pledge a certain amount of $ for every lap you run around a track in a set amount of time. 8 laps is 1 mile! Apparently my Yonas SHATTERED the first grade record by running 19 laps!!! That is almost 2.5 miles!!!

So, he won the "movie bucket"! A small size trash can full of boxes of candy, small sodas, and popcorn! Everything you would need when watching a movie! He was so proud and Nolan was so proud of him! Nolan was bummed the day before that he did not run a lot of laps and therefore did not win the movie bucket, but when Yonas came home with it the next day, he thought that was cool and was very proud of his big brother! Nolan ran 10 laps, which is good for him! Ruby & Silas both ran 14 laps!

But then that leads me to my other point! Did the other kids even have a chance?

First off, Yonas is supposed to be in 3rd grade! So he is 2 years older than his competitors (though he probably would have won 3rd grade as well)!

Second, he is Ethiopian and have you seen the Olympics? They are a force to be reckoned with in running. Abebe Bikila, known as the best marathoner of all time, won 2 gold medals back to back in the Marathon in the 60s. The first he won while running barefoot! He is a LEGEND! In the marathon during these Olympics the leader pack of 5 consisted of 3 green Ethiopian jerseys!

Third, That kid is built for speed! He is lanky, but his bum isn't! It is ALL muscle to propel his legs forward! I really need to get him into track... I see a scholarship in his future!

I am very proud of him! He is athletic and a good sport! He will do great things one day!

Here is a picture of Abebe Bikila running barefoot. There was a whole exhibit to him in the Ethiopian national museum. He was an inspiring person. He won 2 back to back Olympics setting new records. He was in a car accident after that and was paralyzed from the waist down but still found ways to compete. Who knows, maybe Yonas will be an American Olympian! You never know!


Nature vs. Nurture- A Callie Case Study

In my psychology classes at BYU, they ALWAYS talked about nature vs. nurture. Are you born with certain traits or are you a product of your environment?

It all comes down to the theory of Tabula Rasa! In other words "Blank Slate"! Are we born blank slates, or is our personalities, mannerisms, beliefs, thoughts, and mental selves all products of our environment? x This theory was first brought to the forefront by Aristotle in his early writing. Then the theory was made popular by Ibn Sina, a philosopher, who wrote, "human intellect at birth is rather like a tabula rasa, a pure potentiality that is actualized through education and comes to know". This theory can also be found in the works of Locke, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Freud.

Here is what Wikipedia said about Locke: "In Locke's philosophy, tabula rasa was the theory that the (human) mind is at birth a "blank slate" without rules for processing data, and that data is added and rules for processing are formed solely by one's sensory experiences. The notion is central to Lockean empiricism. As understood by Locke, tabula rasa meant that the mind of the individual was born "blank", and it also emphasized the individuals freedom to author his or her own soul. Each individual was free to define the content of his or her character - but his or her basic identity as a member of the human species cannot be so altered. It is from this presumption of a free, self-authored mind combined with an immutable human nature that the Lockean doctrine of "natural" rights derives."

The nice thing about Tabula Rasa is it contradicts the theory that humans are born inherently bad and evil. I do not think anyone is inherently evil. But at the same time, I know we come to this life with certain personality traits! So, when in half my psychology classes I had to write a essay on nature vs. nurture and what I believed the answer was; I always said both.

So, I am telling you this long story, to get to my point. Which is:



And it all comes down to this face! This expression that I have been trying to capture for the longest time but I never seem to take at the right time! At the mountains the camera happened to flash at just the right moment!

Here is my proof: There have been studies that show babies mimicking the facial expressions of adults! This expression in this picture is NOT LEARNED! I CAN NOT MAKE THIS FACE... nor can Levi! The only other person I know who makes this expression is Carrie: Callie's Birthmom! If you are ever wondering what Callie's birth mom looks like, this is it! This is Carrie to a "T"! When she thinks something is funny but is trying to hold back a smile, this is what she looks like! She always slowly cuts her eyes to the side and tightens her mouth together like Callie does in this picture! This is Callie's face when she is doing something she thinks is funny but is trying to keep a strait face! It is not learned, it is built into her little spirit and is part of who she is!

Then there are some other things about her that do not come from me or Levi! Silly things... like when she dances! All my bio kids would stick their hand our and spin in a circle. No dancing skills what-so-ever and you would know why... Levi and I can NOT dance! Callie on the other hand can dip, shake, and groove! She dips really low to the ground and seems to have an internal "boogie" that none of my bio kids have and she definitely did not learn it from us! She also bites when she is mad! She HAS to bite. It is just her thing! Her tight hugs! Part of that is that she physically has very large and strong hands, but when she hugs you she hugs you TIGHT! She clings to you like no other kid I have hugged before! She is petrified of being held over your head! You can spin her around, hold her upside down, lift her high into the air by our feet... but heaven forbid you lift her over your head with your arms! All my other kids are fearless when it comes to those things, not Callie!

But then there are the things she gets from me and Levi! She loves to sing and we always sing and have music around the house! She loves the water (which she had to learn to do, she used to be petrified) because we always have water things going on around our house. She loves to wrestle, be held upside down, and thrown onto the beanbag! She is slowly being nurtured to overcome her fear of being lifted up high and she is not as scared as she used to be. She gives the best night-time prayers and will always be nurtured in her faith. And she loves being surrounded by her brothers and sisters! She is very good at sharing and will comfort Jovie when she is sad!

So, any Psychology majors who may happen upon my blog! Here ya go... here is your closing argument! Just send the professor to http://www.la-lifeiswonderful.blogspot.com/ and tell them there is a case study right there in print... Yes, there is nature AND nurture! And both are important and make us who we are!

So guys, what are some examples of nature and nurture you have seen in your kids?


Lookie What I Found!

Look Closely...
Here is his body...

I was picking up toys in the back yard today and throwing them all on the patio so I could mow the lawn when I picked up a box the kids left out and found one of their animal figurines underneath... or so I thought! I almost THREW him! I was working so quickly just tossing things, this little dude almost met his maker as he would have inevitably been picked up, flung, and hit the side of the house as he rebounded onto the patio! He was laying there so perfect in a "S" shape, just like a platic figurine! Right when I went to pick him up I realized he was a little TOO perfect!

So... I scoop him up in a bucket to show him to the kids! They love things like that! I did a little research and he is a Yellow Spotted Salamander. They are quite common though you never see them because they often live in burrows and only come out a night. But they make really easy to care for pets and most of the ones you find in the pet store are found in the wild. So, he would adapt well to being a pet. We were thinking of getting a fish tank for the boys room, but I was against it because... we have a ton of fish! But this guy is even easier to take care of and just as fun to look at! He is fascinating! I did not get a good picture of him because I did not want to traumatize him after he spent most of his evening in a bucket. But his spots are more Gold than Yellow. They are metallic looking and shimmery! But I just left him in peace with a few worms we dug up for him!

He has a bad eye. It is shrunken and does not open all the way, so I would love to call him Captain or Matey. I am going to ask the kids in the morning. But for now they went to bed really excited about their new pet. I hope they are not too disapointed because they can not pick him up or play with him. Their skin absorbes moisture, so you can pass your human ickiness to him if you handle him too much. But, like a fish, he is fun to watch and to have around, so I think they will appreciate that. We will see how he does. If he does not seem to be doing well and eating we will send him back outside... just somewhere that does not include a backyard with a dog that would swallow him whole like mine!

I will get a better picture of him later. But for now... here is a picture of what he looks like outside the grass! Just one eye is shrunken and inset! He is like Popeye!


Nolan's Half-full Glass!

Every morning I walk the kids down to the bus stop. While there Nolan, Ruby, and Silas love to run back and forth between the small slightly uphill stretch of sidewalk between the 2 stop signs of the little road that leads into my section of the neighborhood. My poor boy with a long waist and short legs has NO CHANCE against my long-legged kids from Ethiopia... yet... he runs! So, yesterday, as we are waiting for the bus, the race begins. They take off towards the stop sign and as they are nearing the home stretch I can hear Nolan yelling:

I am WINNING 3rd Place!
I am WINNING 3rd Place!

You know... when you put it that way, the fact that you are coming in last does not sound so bad!

Sometimes it is all in the way you look at it!

This seems like a church talk analogy just waiting to happen!!!
Then on the way home Lettie was telling me about something she did. I can not remember what it was exactly that she was telling me she did, but she was very proud of herself and ended her story by telling me, "I am really smart!" Hooray for good self-esteem!

You know it is time to mow your grass...

When you can lose a few kids in it!
It looks so whimsical and country... it looks like a hay field!
The problem is, it is in a neighborhood with an association! We never intended for it to get this high! This was right before Levi mowed it. But the fact that it got this high is insane!


1 Word

I am trying to do more blog posts. Even if it is more random than what the family is doing and maybe just include some funny stuff and some musings. So, my friend April sent this to me and I thought it looked like fun... so here I go:

1. Where is your cell? Dresser
2. Signifiicant other? Levi
3. Your hair? Wet
4. Your mother? Dynamic
5. Your father? Farmer
6. Your favorite thing? Family
7. Your dream last night? Sleepless
8. Your favorite drink? Soda
9. Your dream/goal? Travek
10. The room you're in? Bedroom
11. Your fear? Hurt
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Here
13. Where were you last night? Flippin'
14. What you're not? Clean
15. Muffins? Mmmmmm
16. One of your wish list items? Clothes
17. Where you grew up? Williamsburg
18. The last thing you did? Sleep
19. What are you wearing? Clothes
20. Your TV? Disney
21. Your pet? Dogs
22. Your computer? On
23. Your life? Spontaneous
24. Your mood? Sleepy
25. Missing someone? Yes
26. Your car? Huge
27. Something you're not wearing? Ring
28. Favorite Store? Target
29. Your summer? New
30. Your favorite color? Blue
31. When is the last time you laughed? Yesterday
32. Last time you cried? Week
33. Who will/would re-post this? Katie
34. The place I go over and over? Disney
35. The person who visits me (Regularly)? Family
36. A favorite fruit? Peaches
37. A place I would rather be right now? Bed


Lost in Translation!

This is the first picture we took of Yonas, Ruby, & Silas in Ethipia! They were able to pick out their favorite clothes to wear. In classic Ruby style she decided to dress in layers (that girl LOVES to wear a jacket and she loves to be warm). Underneath her pink long-sleeved shirt was a sweatshirt. I think it is hilarious when things are not quite translated correctly. It was not until I got back to the states that I bothered to read the writing on the shirt! Take a look:

So in case you can not read it... this is what the shirt says:

5 Beauty
tho boauty ins thank you
how aro you do you lika
I like how it says "lika" because that is how Ruby speaks!
and "the Little Gut we brought for yours" cracks me up!
Anyway, just thought you would enjoy this little tidbit!