October 26, 2009

Rise and Shout? I'm Pooped.

The lit Y on the Mountain.

It was Homecoming Week at BYU. Because I work for the Alumni Association, I put in some seriously long hours. The events I was involved with went very well. I especially had a great time with the Student Alumni Association. They were in charge of the Hike and Light the Y tradition. Between 600 and 700 people made it up to the Y. The Student Alumni group also marched in the Homecoming Parade. Even though I may be 44 years old and my body felt completely worn out at the end of the week, the students keep me feeling like I'm 20 inside.

The culmination of the week was the football game. BYU was playing top ten ranked TCU. I took the kids and one of Liam's friends to the football game. We were so high up we were literally sitting in clouds for part of the game.

I got a great idea from a friend of mine, Farrah, who had seen my earlier post about singing Happy Birthday in our best opera voices. Farrah suggested we sing the Cougar Fight Song in our best opera voices and post it on my blog. I was looking forward to doing this all week, and I had the kids well prepared. So after BYU's first touchdown, we sang our hearts out. But... Our videographer forgot to press the record button. Oh well, that was good practice, and surely we'd get more chances. Right? Or so we thought. That turned out to be BYU's one and only touchdown, and TCU clobbered our team. What a bummer to the max! Chloe, Liam, and Tanner stayed to the bitter end, while Tomas and I left in the third quarter to hang out in my office.

Therefore, everyone will have to wait for the Cougar Fight Song opera style. (sorry Farrah) However, here is a pretty good substitute. Last night I was upstairs and could hear singing down in the dining room. It turned out to be Tomas singing along to one of his favorite songs. I quickly got the camera and recorded him. I was completely surprised he let me. Liam would have hit the floor, and Chloe would have run from the room. Tomas learned the words completely on his own (well, most of them). After he was done, he wanted to sing with one of Katie's favorite songs. In Spanish! So, this one's for you Opa.


Tomas singing his favorite song "Fireflies" by Owl City and Katie's favorite song "Yo No Se MaƱana" by Luis Enrique.

My Footprint Follow Up

This past week, I participated in the No Impact Challenge. I thought I'd give an update on how I did with my goals.

  1. I will walk or ride my bike to work three times this week. Because it was BYU Homecoming and I work for the Alumni Association, my schedule was crazier than crazy. I was only able to walk to and from work twice. But, I will complete my third day walking tomorrow.
  2. Other than food, I will not purchase anything new this week. No problem here. Didn't buy anything. I'm now going to try and live more by President Kimball's saying, "Eat it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without."
  3. I will donate at least 50 items to Deseret Industries. I haven't actually brought it to DI yet, but I do have a box of stuff prepared and ready to go. DI is on the way to work, but I'll have to use the car to bring the box there.
  4. I will not watch TV for the week. I admit I'm addicted to TV, but I really enjoyed not watching this week. I found that even in a busy week, I had some time to read a few chapters in a book.
  5. I will drink water from reusable water bottles. I did pretty well until I hiked the Y with the Alumni Association board. I forgot to bring any water with me, and all they had was bottled water. I made sure to recycle the bottle, and I'll try to plan better next time.
  6. I will air dry my clothes. I actually love doing this. It was like Vienna when we didn't have a dryer and dried all of our clothes on racks. It also reminded me of when I was little and my mom hung our sheets on a clothesline. I loved the smell as I ran through them.
  7. I will take a sponge bath one day this week instead of a shower. I must say this was my least favorite thing. I felt gross all day. It's ok when you're camping, but I love my daily shower. The challenge did make me aware of how much water I use, and I tried to take shorter showers.
My walk to work isn't a particularly scenic one (or so I thought). Between our neighborhood and my office, it's pretty commercial. However, I decided to take a camera along and see what I could find. It turns out, there is beauty all around.

Click to enlarge.

I enjoyed the challenge. If we all start with small changes and build upon them little by little, we can make a huge difference. They are planning to do another No Impact Challenge in November. I encourage everyone to read through the materials, choose a couple of things you can work on, and go for it.

October 19, 2009

Making Less of an Impact

I've decided to take part in the inaugural No Impact Experiment which challenges you to lower your impact on the environment and become an environmentally engaged citizen. If you haven't heard of No Impact Man, take a look at his blog. I read through the No Impact Experiment Guide that offers tips and resources. Even though there is no way I could ever take it as far as Colin Beavan did (and I guess still does), I've come up with a list of goals for the week. And even if I say "No thank you," to the "if it's yellow, let it mellow," I think my list will be pretty challenging.

  1. I will walk or ride my bike to work three times this week.
  2. Other than food, I will not purchase anything new this week.
  3. I will donate at least 50 items to Deseret Industries.
  4. I will not watch TV for the week.
  5. I will drink water from reusable water bottles.
  6. I will air dry my clothes.
  7. I will take a sponge bath one day this week instead of a shower.
    Click here for a link to a video recommended in the No Impact Experiment Guide. I really like it and plan to show it tomorrow night for Family Home Evening.

    October 18, 2009

    Family Pics Fall 2009

    We have never been good at taking family pictures, and professional photos where we're all dressed in matching khaki pants and denim shirts just isn't our thing. However today, we actually had some spare time, so we grabbed the camera and headed to the canyon.

    October 11, 2009

    Sunday Rolls

    Like I said in my earlier post, I have a nasty head cold. After church, I came home, took some medicine, and took a long nap. Four hours later, I emerged and dragged myself down to the kitchen to come upon this scene.This just makes me happy. Katie and the boys were making crescent rolls for dinner. Since Liam was old enough to walk, he has been our little sous chef. Tomas now wants to help.


    Cutting the dough.

    Rolling out more dough.

    Brushing the rolls with butter.

    The finished product. And they were good!

    Raiding the Dress Up Box

    I promised myself I would post at least one thing each week. Well, a  week has gone by. Either because I'm totally sick with a head cold or it was a boring week, I can't remember anything that's gone on. I decided to look and see what was on the digital camera. And look what I found.

    Click to enlarge.

    Ah, yes. Now I remember. The cousins came for a visit.  I guess Aunt Kristen can't wait for Halloween. She and a bunch of the kids went down to the basement, and this is what emerged.

    Here are my guesses as to what they are dressed as:
    • Kristen: Cher, ready to shoot a video for her song Halfbreed. (Remember that 1973 #1 hit? My mom bought us the record, and we played it ad nauseum.)
    • Audrey: the psychedelic princess from Tutti Frutti Land
    • Tomas: Captain Jack Hummingbird
    • Liam: the disco whirling dervish
    • Tyler: the incognito space alien performing in a tourist luau show
    Although the competition is tough, I think Kristen is currently in the lead for craziest aunt. I think everyone needs a crazy aunt (or in my kids' case, three). I have an aunt who would brush her very long hair over her face so that she resembled Cousin It and chase us kids all over the house. I think it was also she who talked me into eating dog food. Remember Gaines Burgers? They looked like individually wrapped hamburgers, so it didn't take much convincing to get me to try it. I'll have to write her to see if she remembers this. Good times.

    October 03, 2009

    Sing It Opera-style!

    A tradition in our house is to call family members with birthdays and sing "Happy Birthday" in our best opera voices. Now, when I say "best", I'm not necessarily saying "good." All you have to do is sing like you think you're an opera star and completely go for it. I highly recommend it to everyone.

    This past week was my mom's birthday, and we decided to kick it up a notch. With the web cam in our new computer, the kids and I recorded a lovely version and posted it on my mom's Facebook page. Now, she'll have it to play and replay whenever she needs a good laugh.

    A little side note: Katie's missing from the video because she was at a meeting. Otherwise, she would have lent her lyric coloratura soprano voice.

    Now that we've upped the bar on our birthday wishes. I'm pretty sure other family members will expect something similar, or even better. And I think we're up to the challenge.

    I am just moving up in the world of technology. I now text, have a Facebook account, use Skype, post videos on Youtube, and blog. I still don't get why anyone would want to Twitter, but I'm not ruling it out for the future. I feel like The Jetsons here we come! I just hope the flying cars make it in my lifetime. That would be cool.