Thursday, March 30, 2006

Is there a "Messy Eater" Gene?

Okay, it's no big secret that I am a messy eater. In high school, I think I always had something spilled on my shirt. And I was banned from eating or drinking in numerous vehicles. I'm still banned from eating in certain parts of my own home (but that usually doesn't stop me). As I've gotten older, I've gotten much less messy as far as eating goes. I can generally get through a meal without spilling on myself. But, you can usually still tell which spot at the table was mine due to the amount of crumbs and drips, etc.
So, you'd think that I would be sympathetic when I see my kids struggle to stay clean while eating. But, instead, it drives me crazy. I can't even watch them eat most of the time. They pick things apart and hold it in their hands until it melts and do anything possible except normal, civilized eating.
Britton has always been a messy eater. Even as a baby, he was the master at spitting up. I don't think he had a feeding without spitting half of it up. I should've known I was in for trouble then. Even knowing that, he still manages to amaze me. He can take an ordinary food and make a complete mess out of it. Like a piece of cheese, for example. I wouldn't think of cheese as a messy food, but he managed to crumble it up into tiny pieces and get grease all over. Who even thinks of doing that with cheese?
I thought that there was hope for Haley. She has always been too interested in getting as much food as possible into her mouth that she generally didn't make a mess. But, now as she gets a bit older, I'm starting to see some of the signs of a messy eater. She's playing with her food more, picking it apart, finding unique ways to eat things. Why did both my kids have to take after me?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Boys are Weird


On March 6 was Haley's 2 year old birthday. We had a party at my parent's house the Saturday before. I gave Jason the camera so that I could officiate in the handing out of the presents and all. My mom has the habit of giving presents to all the grandkids when it's someone's birthday, so it gets a little crazy. As I was going through the pictures on our camera, I found many like the one posted, but not even one of Haley opening up her gifts. Jason was having so much fun with our brother-in-law Ryan staging pictures of two-headed dragons eating men that he completely missed all of the present opening. But, lucky for us, we have about 10 different angles and views of the human-eating monster.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Moab












This weekend we took a road trip to Moab. Jason and all his friends went down to play in a volleyball tournament together. Moab is one of my very favorite places, so I was more than excited to be able to have a little mini family vacation.
As we drove down, my mind wandered to all the many different times I have been to Moab. For some reason it has always been my favorite road trip destination and so I've been there many times with many different random groups of people. It didn't matter if the trip was well planned out or spur of the moment, they always turned out to be fun. I went there for high school spring break, my college end of freshman year trip, a trip just because Emily was house sitting and we had access to a car, a trip instead of preference to watch Jason in a volleyball tournament, and numerous other times. I never really needed a reason to go--just other people who were willing to go with me.
This trip, however, was a bit different than all the others because it snowed almost all weekend. Moab is 100% an outdoor recreation town. So, to be stuck inside was definitely a switch. I even searched the whole town for some kind of indoor playground like at Mcdonald's or something and there was nothing at all. Luckily, we had our XBox and movies and friends to hang out with. We did make it to arches during the small amount of time that it was decent weather. Which was really lucky since Britton had been talking about "climbing orange rocks and finding lizards". I really shouldn't tell him about something until we're actually doing it. At least he got to see some arches and climb up some big rocks. He was happy enough. All in all, it was a fun trip and will be added to the rest of my fun memories of Moab.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Trees

I love trees. When I was young, my grandparents had an orchard. We would go to help pick the fruit, but my favorite thing was to climb up high into the cherry trees--higher than any of the ladders could reach and just stay up there.
In high school, I tutored a little girl at the library. I couldn't ever get her to want to read, but if I checked out books and took them outside, climbed a tree with her, then we would sit up there and she would read to me for hours.
In college, I had a special tree at Kiwanis Park. It was my "thinking tree". I went there whenever I wanted to be alone to think. I would sit under it and write or draw or sleep or pray. It was as if the tree made me smarter--gave me insights I wouldn't have gotten otherwise. I guess just being with it inspired me.
Some of the coolest trees I've ever seen were in Parc Borely in Marseille (See pictures below). I loved them mostly because they were well suited for climbing clear to the top. Since missionaries don't typically spend time climbing trees, I was only able to admire them for their potential. Their branches were like perfect steps up to the top. But, I was able to climb a bit when I went back on vacation.
My favorite tree of all is the big Boxelder tree in my back yard. It is just majestic. I think it is beautiful. When we first looked at our house, there were a lot of things that we loved about it and that were well-suited for us, but when I saw the tree, that was the real deal maker for me. I HAD to have the house.
I love the tree in every season. In winter, it shows off its naked, bare bones frame. In spring, it gets new life with the blossoms and leaves. In summer, it shades my entire backyard. In fall (my very favorite), it covers my whole backyard in pretty colored leaves.
I love the bugs and the birds that it attracts. Last summer we had 4 owls perched in the tops of it. They would come and go, but I liked to think of our tree as their home.
My kids (and I) love to climb in it and swing in it and just be around it. I hope they will end up loving, appreciating, and being inspired by trees as well.